Christchurch Boys’ High School have defied the conditions to thrash Christ's College 31-13 in the 145th annual traditional fixture at Straven Road this afternoon.
In front of a packed and rowdy home crowd, Christchurch would have been anxious at halftime turning against the stiff breeze with a slender 10-6 lead.
However a try to hooker Clayden Paranihi, from a quick tap in the 50th minute, stretched the hosts lead to a telling 22-13 as Christ’s wilted against an opposition boasting a more hungry pack and potent backline.
Christ’s enjoyed two thirds of possession and territory in the first-half, but fell behind 10-0 after 18 minutes.
In the 12th minute Christchurch first-five Ollie Lewis opened the scoring with a 45-metre angled penalty before No.8 Cam Henderson latched onto the back of an unstoppable lineout drive to claim the first try.
Christ’s were patient with the ball, but lacked the punch of the hosts. The visitors were able to punish ill-discipline though with Shun Miyake slotting two penalties before the interval. His second effort was a tough success from 35-metres out. Miyake scored 258 points last season.
Christchurch anchored themselves in the Christ’s 22 to begin the second-half and 11 phases of attrition and precision saw lock Jammie Hannah rewarded.
Down 17-6, Christ’s salvaged the kickoff and a long riposte concluded with openside Mitchell Cox entering the scorebook. Miyake’s conversion sliced the deficit to 17-13.
Much of Christ's play was hampered by panic and inaccuracy. By contrast the Christchurch backs became gradually more elusive. Second-five Keegan McGregor was especially threatening and tighthead Ben Lopas was a destructive battering ram.
The quick thinking Paranihi propelled Christchurch to a 24-13 lead at which point Christ’s resistance considerably weakened. Christchurch centre Callum Simpson applied the exclamation mark with five minutes to spare regaining his own chip and chase.
In addition to McGregor and Lopas, Lewis was faultless of the tee and grew in stature. Paranihi produced a strong shift and lock Fabian Holland was a workhorse.
Christ’s best were captain and lock Zach Gallagher. loosehead Liam Pratt and No.8 Fletcher Anderson.
Christchurch have won 17 of the past 18 matches against Christ’s and 92 of the 145 total games. Christchurch improves to 4-1 in the UC Championship.
In other traditional matches Hamilton Boys’ High School defeated Auckland Grammar School 19-17. New Plymouth Boys’ High School thrashed St Patrick’s College, Silverstream 35-8 and Nelson College trounced Marlborough Boys’ College 48-14 to achieve their fourth win in five UC Championship games.
Above: The Crusaders Region First XV points table after today's games in Christchurch and Nelson.
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