1st XV vs New Plymouth Boys' High SchoolPhotos by Rachel Wenham

1st XV vs New Plymouth Boys' High School

1st August 2020 at The Gully Ground

Match Report vs New Plymouth Boys’ High School

The PNBHS had a short turnaround following the Hamilton game and travelled back up to New Plymouth to play on the famous Gully ground for the Barnes Cup. We were buoyed by some good form in recent weeks, had confidence and clarity around our game plan and so were looking forward to putting out a strong performance.

After soaking up some early defensive pressure, we burst out of our half from an excellent set piece move and got into New Plymouth’s 22. Under pressure they gave up a penalty and while we went quick with a tap and go, just missed on scoring the first try. Instead we took the three points on offer. New Plymouth came back with a penalty of their own and a pattern began to emerge of New Plymouth winning the collisions and Palmerston North struggling to hold onto possession. While we were defending well, eventually the pressure told and New Plymouth scored a try to take a seven point into the halftime break. We had a couple of opportunities through the half but could not build any phases due to handling errors. Conversely New Plymouth valued the ball and were able to hold onto it for extended periods of time.

The second half was a repeat of the first with a steadily climbing error rate and not adhering to the game plan as we played too much rugby in our own half. We attempted to wrest control back through our defence and finally moved the ball to space on a kick return to score a relatively easy try. This narrowed the gap to 16-10 with twenty minutes left. Once again though, New Plymouth went to their strengths and dominated both possession and territory, scoring another try to extend their lead out to 23-10 with ten minutes to go. Try as we might, we continued to struggle at the breakdown and just could not get into our stride. Full credit must go to the New Plymouth defence for this as they were hugely combative and continually put us under pressure.

The final score was 23-10 and a fair reflection of the game. The team now has a 10 day period until the next fixture against Tauranga Boys’ College on our beloved home field. The break will allow us to give the bodies to come right and continue to develop the skills and mind set required to perform consistently.

Points Scorers

Try: Logan Love

Con: Curtis Heaphy

Pen: Curtis Heaphy