Both coaches praised their sides’ defensive efforts in a nail biting Murray Jones Shield clash at Orewa College.
by Ben Donaldson
A converted try was the only score when Orewa College First XV beat Mahurangi College First XV 7–0 in the annual Murray Jones Shield clash held at Orewa College on April 11.
Mahurangi First XV assistant coach Jon Blyth says nothing could set the two sides apart for the majority of the game with a half time score of 0–0.
“It was going to come down to which team made a crucial mistake and we missed an important tackle,” he says.
Orewa First XV head coach Adam Wilson says the visitors were stronger early on with good turnover ball from the breakdown.
“We turned momentum around in the second half despite being a man short after a yellow card,” Adam says.
Jon says Mahurangi probably had more opportunities overall, but rushed things too much and subsequently couldn’t execute the final blow on numerous occasions.
Early in the game, Mahurangi had a penalty, but captain Jacob Bindon opted to kick for touch before losing the lineout.
“I’m glad he made that decision. He wanted to make a statement early on, but Orewa dominated the lineouts so that’s something we definitely need to work on.”
Adam is working with a relatively new squad with a focus on team handling skills and culture.
“We want every player to have the ability to be an option on attack and help out at the ruck where Mahurangi got the better of us. We’ve also tried to build a better relationship between our first and second team by having combined trainings this year.”
Orewa also enjoyed a win in their first pre-season match beating One Tree Hill 33-21.