A victory in their next game is the only option for the Mt Aspiring College First XV if they are to meet their goal of reaching the middle four for the play-offs in the Otago Premier Schools competition. MAC went down 50 points to 14 against Kings High School in Dunedin last Saturday June 29.
“We knew we were going to be in for a battle today; Kings are a top-four team,” explained head coach Carl Schmack. “We knew they had a big aggressive forward pack and some big backs, so we were always going to be out-muscled in the size department.
Kings managed to get four tries on the board before MAC were able to get themselves back in the game, with hooker TJ Lilly scoring off the front of the line out and then kicking the conversion.
“We had to change our game plan a bit because they were targeting our 12 and 13, Jack East and Ryan Schmack so we had to keep it tighter into the forwards in the second half,” Schmack explained.
The Wanaka side put themselves under more pressure in the second half, losing blind side flanker Ryan Jones to a yellow card and leaving Kings to capitalise on the gap in defence. In the end, determination paid off, with MAC rounding out the game with a try to prop Tait Scurr.
At the end of the match, Year 12 students Rhys Hughes and Ryan Schmack received their caps for their twentieth game for MAC.
MAC will play South Otago in Balclutha next Saturday July 6, with kickoff scheduled for 1pm.