City win first en­counter with Coun­try

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - LAWRENCE GULLERY

Se­condary school rugby may be over for an­other sea­son but in the Waikato there’s still a bat­tle on to de­ter­mine who’s the best be­tween city and coun­try.

Mata­mata Col­lege stu­dents Henry Pou, Dy­lan Deed and Jake Roa were se­lected for the Waikato Coun­try Un­der 18 rugby squad to play their Hamilton city coun­ter­parts.

The coun­try team lost to city, 20-16, at Bed­ford Park in the first of two games. The two meet again on Wed­nes­day in Hamilton.

Speak­ing be­fore the first game, Henry and Jake said the games were al­ways ‘‘re­ally phys­i­cal’’.

‘‘I was in the coun­try team last year and it was mas­sive, be­cause I was the youngest, 17, and there were play­ers a lot big­ger than men,’’ Henry said.

‘‘So it’s tough phys­i­cally but also men­tally.’’

Henry said he en­joyed the chal­lenge and ex­pe­ri­ence the an­nual fix­ture gave play­ers and will be look­ing to make a big im­pact play­ing at cen­tre for the fi­nal match.

‘‘I just like the close con­tact, play­ing at cen­tre, you have to be re­ally fit.’’

All three Mata­mata play­ers fea­tured in the col­lege’s 1st XV this year but ad­mit­ted the sea­son pro­duced some mix re­sults.

Jake Roa hopes to use his time in the Coun­try team to im­prove his skills play­ing full­back.

‘‘I was on the wing last year but at full­back you get to use your speed but also get more in­volved. You take con­trol more, make de­ci­sions de­fence.’’

Jake said his favourite player to watch was All Blacks winger Nehe Mil­ner-Skud­der.

‘‘Al­though he’s on the wing, he’s amaz­ing on at­tack, he’s spon­ta­neous, and good on de­fence.’’

Dy­lan Deed proved his ver­sa­til­ity with the col­lege 1st XV this and or­gan­ise the year with stints play­ing half­back, wing, full­back and then first-five. He wasn’t sure where the Coun­try coaches would like him to play but he had some ideas of his own.

‘‘I think it’s a mat­ter of which po­si­tion I’ve got the most ex­pe­ri­ence in.

‘‘I would say that’s half­back and full­back. But I would like to de­velop at first-five a bit more this year.

‘‘It’s a good po­si­tion to play be­cause you’re run­ning the moves, in the thick of it all.’’

The coun­try team com­prises play­ers from Cam­bridge High School, For­rest View High, Mor­rinsville Col­lege, St Peters, Te Awa­mutu Col­lege, Pu­taruru Col- lege, Toko­roa High School as well as Hau­tapu, Leam­ing­ton Otoro­hanga Piron­gia and Whatawhata rugby clubs.

The city team draws its play­ers from Hamilton Boys’ High School, St Johns Col­lege, Hill­crest High School, St Paul’s as well as Hamilton Marist Rugby Club and Waikato Univer­sity.

PHOTO: LAWRENCE GULLERY

Mata­mata Col­lege stu­dents Jake Roa and Henry Pou have been se­lected for the Waikato Coun­try rugby team to play Hamilton City.

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