In the Feilding High School First XV players record every game in a red notebook establishing individual goals for each fixture.
Drew Wild has a packed notebook appearing over 70 times for his school. Wild is explicit about his aims in 2018.
“We want to win the Central North Island (CNI) and National Co-ed finals. Last year we lost both those games which left a bitter taste,” Wild reveals.
Feilding is a strong contender to make the CNI final, topping the competition with a single game remaining.
Feilding has won seven out of eight matches accounting for defending champions Wesley College (11-0), National Co-ed champions St Peter's, Cambridge (24-5) and Te Aute College (126-0) - the largest victory in the history of the CNI.
“The culture is different from last year. We've established a senior leadership group which means there are more thinkers on the field taking greater accountability for each other. Last year we lost the CNI final after leading 28-11. Not repeating that mistake is a big focus,” Wild observes when reviewing the present state of the team.
Feilding did lose their most recent CNI encounter to St Paul’s Collegiate. Wild acknowledges St Paul’s are the strongest team Feilding has played and the school holidays were timely.
“St Paul’s are well balanced team, big in the forwards and quick in the backs. We were a little bit flat. It's been an intense term. Hopefully the break will hopefully freshen us up,” Wild observes.
There wasn't much respite for Wild personally. The fullback/first-five was selected for the Hurricanes Under-18 camp in Napier.
“It was really good camp with so many learnings. The first two days were all theory focusing on good nutrition, life skills and game patterns. On the last two days we were split into two teams for practical trainings,” Wild recounts.
Wild said he particularly enjoyed the ‘live scenarios’ and provides an example of such an event.
“We would play normally and then the game might stop for a scrum where we had more time than usual to make a move. The coaches were looking for us to execute what we had learned in class or if we were quick enough change on our feet for a positive outcome.”
One scenario Wild would like to change is the infrequent meetings between the Feilding and Palmerston North Boys’ High School. The last time the local rivals met was in Napier in 2015. Wild took part and present Highlanders wing Jonah Nareki scored two tries in a 25-15 Feilding win.
“We offered them eight dates and they refused them all. All the boys want it. I'm not sure exactly who refuses it, but it's a shame,” Wild complains.
Wild wasn’t complaining in 2016 when Feilding beat Aorere College, Auckland in the National co-ed final, a game which he identifies as his favourite at Feilding.
Wild is an accomplished sevens player, in March named the player of the tournament at the Sir Gordon Tijetjens 7s tournament.
In addition to rugby Wild (originally from Bulls) is interested in building and hunting. He has signed with the Manawatu Turbos for the next two seasons.
The Central North Island competition concludes next term. For more information click here:
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