Francis Douglas far too good for Rathkeale
31 Jul 2017
The Francis Douglas Memorial College first XV rugby side found their best form of the season on Saturday as they thumped Rathkeale College 83-7 in New Plymouth.
Needing to win to keep their chances of making the Central North Island competition play-offs alive, Francis Douglas started well and had the visitors stretched most times they put the ball wide.
While their finishing has not always been effective, it was against a hapless defence that struggled to cope with the speed at which Francis Douglas played at.
That was evident just 10 minutes into the game as Francis Douglas scored their third try to lead 17-0.
To their credit, Rathkeale appeared like they had come back into the game when they scored a good try of their own and stated to have a period of good possession in equally good field position.
However, after a succession of penalties close the line were tapped, Rathkeale failed to get over the line and turned the ball over.
From there Francis Douglas sent it wide with quick hands and they raced 90m away to score.
It was that point when the heads of the Rathkeale players dropped and they conceded again just before the break to go into halftime 31-7 down.
If the the first half was though for them the second was worse as Francis Douglas simply ran rings around a tiring defence as they ran in eight more unanswered tries.
There was some highlights for the home side, including wing Chris Balsom scoring four tries while promising fullback Isaac Kneepkens scored a hat-trick for the second game in a row.
His brother, Jacob, scored of brace of tries while second five-eighth Chris Bryan did the same.
Francis Douglas now have to beat Feilding High School away next Saturday to make sure they make the semifinals.
At a glance
Francis Douglas Memorial College 83 (C Balsom 4, I Knnepkens 3, C Bryan 2, J Kneepkens 2, J Sinclair, S Smith tries; Sinclair 5 cons, J Kneepkens 4 cons) Rathkeale College 7 (J Beatson try; J Eschenbach con). HT: 31-7.