Josh Rudland [No 13] competing for the ball for Rathkeale College. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

COLLEGE SPORT

JAKE BELESKI
jake.beleski@age.co.nz

The football and netball teams from Rathkeale College and St Matthew’s Collegiate made a strong impression in their traditional exchange with Wanganui Collegiate School in Whanganui on Tuesday.

The Rathkeale First XI football team put six goals past their opposition in a 6-1 thrashing, while the St Matthew’s First XI won 5-3 in their match.

The Rathkeale Junior A team also found the back of the net six times in their 6-0 win.

The St Matthew’s netball teams both came back with wins in their matches, with the Senior A team winning 31-23 and the Junior A team escaping with an 18-16 win.

Rathkeale First XI football manager Dale Walterhouse said they were incredibly happy with the result.

“The boys played exceptionally well against a very physical side.

“They kept their heads up and put balls in the back of the net.”

The annual clash with Wanganui Collegiate is seen as the biggest traditional on the sporting calendar, and the players understand the significance of it.

“For the boys, I think they [traditional matches] mean just about everything.

“They understand the historical significance and relationships with other schools, and the influence their schools had on shaping our school.”

The results weren’t so positive in the rugby and hockey matches, however, with Wanganui winning the First XV rugby [10-3], Second XV rugby [50-7] and under-15 rugby [37-20].

The St Matthew’s First XI hockey team scrapped to a 2-all draw in their match, but Wanganui were too good in the First XI boys’ match [3-2] and boys’ colts match [4-1].

Rathkeale First XV rugby coach Jonathan Tanner said they had opportunities to win the game, and were unlucky on a couple of occasions.

“It was a really brutal, physical game.

“We lost a number of people to injuries within the game, including a dislocated shoulder and a couple of concussions.”

Tanner said it had been a “tough old day”, but was proud of the effort his team had produced.

On another day, the result could have been markedly different.

“A lot of credit needs to go to Wanganui who defended really well, and we just couldn’t quite break them down.

“Our guys were fantastic, particularly given the amount of changes during the game.”

The team will have to bounce back quickly with St Paul’s Collegiate School arriving for a Central North Island clash tomorrow.

Tanner said St Paul’s had won the competition plenty of times, but they were hopeful of being more than competitive even with the short turnaround.