Rugby com­pe­ti­tion heat­ing up

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - WHAT’S ON - MAR­TYN VERCOE

When you get a com­pe­ti­tion where ev­ery team has a re­al­is­tic chance of beat­ing all the other teams on any given day, you know you are in for a bit of a cliffhanger sea­son.

This is the sce­nario that is un­fold­ing in the Wad­sco Mo­tor­world lo­cal Premier com­pe­ti­tion - which is also act­ing as the first round of the NPD Tas­man-wide com­pe­ti­tion.

Just when I thought I was get­ting a han­dle on what team was go­ing to be the early favourite, last week­end’s sur­pris­ing re­sults smashed that no­tion, mak­ing these matches be­ing played at present harder to pick than the last race at Water­lea.

Ren­wick may have been heavy favourites go­ing into their match against East Coast but they ended up be­ing well beaten by the Coast­ers in a match that will give the south­ern side a mas­sive shot of con­fi­dence head­ing into the semi­fi­nals.

East Coast is a proud, gutsy and mod­est club who al­ways punch above their weight and its awe­some to see them get­ting some re­ward for all the hard work their play­ers, coaches and ad­min­is­tra­tors are putting in.

I re­ally like the look of their for­mer Fi­jian international half­back Nemia Ranuku, who has played pro­fes­sion­ally in Europe re­cently - he is like the con­duc­tor of the or­ches­tra which is clearly in good tune.

Add to Ranuku the likes of hard work­ing and skill­ful for­wards Sam Hus­ton and Billy Collins and they are hard to beat.

Ren­wick will be OK this sea­son and the de­feat on the week­end might ac­tu­ally be a good thing in the long run.

They will learn more from that match than a victory and will come back strong. I re­ally like the look of Ren­wick mid­fielder Mike Vaeno who is a big, strong ball car­rier.

Cen­tral have been ag­o­nis­ingly close in all their four matches this sea­son - col­lect­ing four bonus point losses.

They are now out of semis contention, which will be a bit­ter pill to swal­low as they are a good team who just haven’t man­aged to get in at the right time.

I’m sure all the other teams will be glad to see the back of them and it will be fas­ci­nat­ing to see how the stand­ing stack up af­ter the last round robin games com­ing up this week­end.

Lastly a big shout out to the Marl­bor­ough Boys Col­lege First XV who started their UC 1st XV com­pe­ti­tion with a good win against Mid Can­ter­bury Schools in Blen­heim on the week­end.

As I’ve pre­vi­ously stated, I’ve got a real soft spot for the MBC team hav­ing coached them be­fore my time with the Tas­man Mako.

With Gray Cor­nelius at the helm again this sea­son they will again be well or­gan­ised and pre­pared to tackle all the big Rugby schools in this com­pe­ti­tion.

PHOTO: SARNIM DEAN/STUFF

East Coast have been putting in some im­pres­sive per­for­mances in Premier Rugby so far this sea­son (file pic).

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