A commanding second-half has earned Christchurch Boys’ High School a 32-16 victory over Christ’s College this afternoon.
With 20 minutes remaining the match appeared to be in the balance with the visitors only leading 22-16. However Christchurch boasted the more potent backline and when centre George Harding cut through to score a fourth try, Christchurch settled the contest with 15 minutes to go.
Christchurch threatened from the outset with wing Yoji Yabe tackled into the corner flag in the third minute.
Christ’s scored the first points after seven minutes when second-five Shun Miyake kicked a penalty, but Yabe wouldn’t be denied a short time later finishing a bust by wing partner Brigham Riwai-Couch.
Initially Christchurch had lineout troubles allowing Christ’s to control territory. However relentless attack went unrewarded and when Ryan Barnes poached an intercept and dashed 100-metres it was 12-3 to Boys’ High after 17 minutes. Barnes scored two tries in the 2016 fixture.
A clean break by the impressive Harding resulted in no profit, but Christ’s captain Sam Darry was rewarded for his industry after half an hour, scoring a try to make it 12-10 at halftime. Christ’s eventually created an overlap after 16 phases and a somewhat fortuitous reclaiming of the ball after a kick forward from a low pass.
Miyake propelled Christ’s into a 13-12 lead with the first penalty of the second-half, but Christchurch soon regained the ascendency.
In the 42nd minute No.8 Corban Harding charged 30-metres and linked with Yabe whose leaping over a pile of bodies was a showcase of genuine flair.
Christchurch fullback Max Hughes nailed the sideline conversion and a straightforward penalty to extend the advantage to 22-13.
Miyake was dead-eye from 40-meters as Christ’s harbouded genuine hopes of victory. However Christchurch's ability to stretch the defense proved ultimately telling. With about 15 minutes to play Hughes made it 25-16. George Harding’s burst was the exclamation mark.
Hughes was named Player of the Match for his all-round excellence. Others to reveal for Christchurch were prop Ben Lopas and halfback Louie Chapman. The former was like a bull in a China shop while the latter’s astuness kept Christ’s on edge.
Darry led by example for Christ’s and openside Hunter Wilson toiled gamley.
Christchurch tops the UC Championship after five rounds and have scored an impressive 293 points. Christ’s suffered their first loss of the season.
Christchurch is unbeaten in their last 15 UC Championship matches. Their last defeat in the local competition was in the corresponding fixture last year.
Christchurch has won 91 of the 144 meetings stretching back to 1892. Christ’s have only tasted success 44 times with their last home win a 19-8 triumph in 2000. Daniel Carter was Christchurch’s first five that day.
The remainder of the UC Championship matches for this round are on Saturday.
View the UC Championship Results & Standings here
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand