MOTIVATION won’t be a problem for the Rathkeale College first XV when they take on Central Hawke’s Bay College in an interschool rugby fixture at Memorial Park, Masterton, tomorrow.
That’s the promise from halfback and captain Ben Renton, who says his team is “really excited” about a match which will be televised live on Sky Sport’s Rugby Channel, starting at 7pm.
“Knowing it’s going to be on television has been a big buzz for the boys. We can’t wait to get out there,” Renton said.
Rathkeale have had two warm-up games in preparation for this one under new coaches Jon Tanner and Leif Hansen and, while they have lost to St Pat’s Town and Nelson College, Renton has been happy with their progress and expects them to fire on all cylinders against a Central Hawke’s Bay side which he admits is something of an unknown quantity.
“We beat them a couple of years ago quite easily but that doesn’t mean they won’t be a lot stronger now.”
Renton says Rathkeale will be taking an attacking approach into the game with the major aim being to fully utilise the pace and flair of a young but pacy backline in which one of the stars is likely to be centre Henry Eschenbach.
However, they were also aware of the need for their forwards to do the hard yards up front and No8 Temana Matiu is expected to play a leading hand.
“We want to keep our structure while moving the ball around as much as we can, that’s pretty much the game plan,” Renton said.
For Sky Sport tomorrow night’s live telecast will, from all accounts, be the first time they have covered a college game under lights and on an artifical turf.
Meanwhile, matches in the WBRFU’s Tui Cup premier division competition will also continue tomorrow with front-runners Carterton taking on Gladstone at Carterton. Carterton will start favourites but Gladstone, who have drawn their last two games, certainly have enough experience and firepower in their pack to make matters interesting in the battle for possession. If they can achieve a clear edge anything could happen.
Arch rivals Marist and Pioneer should have their usual keen tussle on the Memorial Park No2 ground and with their penchant to play a free-flowing style of rugby this should come down to which of the two teams is more proficient at making the most of their scoring opportunities. If passes stick there should be no shortage of tries here. East Coast’s narrow but deserved win over Pioneer last weekend will have given Eketahuna plenty of food for thought as they prepare to travel to Whareama tomorrow.
Both packs lack nothing on the score of ruggedness and could well cancel each other out, meaning the backs could have the biggest say in the end result.
Defending champions Greytown have made a slow start to the season results-wise and any chance of them winning the Kapene Cup, which goes to the leading team at the completion of one full round of matches, will virtually be buried if they lose to Martinborough at Greytown. On the face of it a home team victory seems the most likely result but Martinborough have shown a liking for the underdog status in the past, and could well do so again.
– Wairarapa Times-Age By Gary Caffell