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Match Report - StAC vs Nelson College - May 15th
Heavy rain in Nelson overnight softened up the ground but made handling difficult as the ball became wet and slippery and both teams were guilty of several knock-ons as a result.
Early on, the hosts ran in three first half tries with James Lowe (No 15) looking especially dangerous with ball in hand. On two occasions he created the overlap by coming into the line at pace from full back. But to StAC's credit, they defended very strongly and kept out a committed Nelson forward pack when they time and again repulsed the opposing onslaught from Nelson.
Going into half time and trailing Nelson by 19-0 it appeared that StAC was in serious trouble as Nelson clearly had the better of the first 35 minutes.
Whatever was said at half time to the Christchurch boys however had an immediate impact as the players rose to the challenge and came out firing on all four cylinders. StAC put pressure on the ball and had Nelson on the back foot early in the 2nd half. StAC's only downfall was not finishing their plays, as they came close to scoring on several occasions.
StAC were eventually rewarded with a try to No 9 Martin Solofua only to have the wind taken out of their sails by a superb individual run from James Lowe (Nelson No 15) down the western touch line resulting in a well deserved try, albeit against the flow of play.
A further try to Nelson came from a lovely pop pass off the deck from a goodline break allowing No 13 Mike Wells to run over.
Towards the end of play StAC was camped on the Nelson line. They looked threatening with 2 very strong set piece lineouts bringing James Erskine (No 17) into the half back roll, then crunching the ball up off the jumper through the middle of the lineout. Unfortunately he was not rewarded with the try as the Ref was not placed but from where I was standing...
Players of the day: Martin Solofua 1, Richie Mo'unga 2 and Stewart Whitehead getting a well deserved 3
We may not have won the battle in the first half but we certainly stepped up to the mark in the second and can all hold our heads high going into College Game this coming weekend.
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