“We cared a lot about our unbeaten record. It hurt when we lost to Wesley. The boys were really down at Monday practice,” morns Jock Yarndley when reflecting on St. Paul’s Collegiate’s first loss in 29 games in the Central North Island (CNI) series recently.
St. Paul’s had a horror week where they lost seven front line players and had to play two matches in five days. On May 30, they were held to an 11-11 draw by Wanganui Collegiate before heading to Paerata where they were soundly beaten 29-13.
“Wesley was a real physical team and they got on top of us early. Their confidence grew and you can’t let that happen against Wesley.” Yarndley admits.
Since the Wesley setback, Chiefs Under-18 camp selections Sam Cooper (hooker), Luke Donaldson (halfback), Fergus Burke (first-five) and Valynce Crosby (midfield) have all returned to the roster. Unsurprisingly, results have improved with wins achieved against Feilding High School (26-15), Francis Douglas Memorial College (44-26) and Rathkeale College (59-7).
This Saturday on Land Rover First XV St. Paul’s hosts St. Peter’s Cambridge in a replay of the 2016 CNI final. St. Peter’s are at the top of the standings in 2017 with five wins in six games.
“It’s going to be a tough game, but I am really looking forward to it. From what I have seen St. Peter’s play a real direct game so we are going to have to make our tackles count,” Yarndley predicts.
St. Peter’s only loss was to Francis Douglas 38-21 in Round two. Yarndley believes that Francis Douglas provided a few clues on how to topple St. Peter’s.
“Francis Douglas opened St. Peter’s up. They are a quick team with good backs. We might look to move the ball a bit because we have pace out wide, but to do that it we have to win up front.”
Openside Yarndley is a key member of the St. Paul’s pack. Robust over the ball he has a happy knack of scoring tries and is approaching 50 games for the First XV.
“My favourite game for the First XV was the CNI final in Year 11. We got up 28-0 and never looked back. Last year’s final was another highlight. It was on TV and I had to mark Jacob Norris who is a really good player.”
Yarndley was “gutted” to miss selection for the Chiefs camp, but insists it’s no reflection on the CNI series which has seen nine of 23 games decided by 25 or more points.
“I think the competition is getting stronger. Last year we beat Wanganui by 90 or something and this year we had a draw. Teams vary in strength and each play’s differently, but it’s a good comp,” he said.
Yarndley’s father Scott is a horse farmer in Te Awamutu and can be seen regularly photographing St. Paul’s games. Jock is the middle of three children. Next year he hopes to acquire an apprenticeship in building or engineering while continuing rugby.
St. Paul’s Collegiate against St. Peter’s Cambridge kicks off at 2:30pm on the Rugby Channel.
The other matches in Round Five of the Central North Island competition this weekend:
#1 - Wanganui Collegiate v Lindisfarne
#2 - St John's Hastings v Rathkeale
#3 - Feilding HS v Wesley First XV
#4 - Te Aute v FDMC
2012: Lindisfarne College
2013: Francis Douglas Memorial College
2014: St. Paul’s Collegiate
2015: St. Paul’s Collegiate
2016: St. Paul’s Collegiate
For more details click here: http://www.collegerugby.co.nz/national/games-results.php?competition=58&season=13&round=4
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