Just three points separate the Billy Goats and top spot on the Swindale Shield ladder after Old Boys-University comprehensively beat Marist St Pat’s 32-17 at Evans Bay Park on Saturday afternoon.
It was a dominant all-round showing from the Billy Goats, always controlling the game and leading from wire-to-wire as they picked up their fifth bonus-point victory of the season.
The loose forwards were again in dominant form with all three of them crossing the chalk, making good metres with ball in hand and doing damage on defence.
As influential was Tomasi Palu, and it was him who got the scoring underway, breaking away down a narrow blindside after an OBU lineout to score the opening try.
Next up it was Will Mangos who burrowed his way over, before Palu made another burst, this time linking up with Teariki Ben-Nicholas to push the score out to 20-0.
MSP hit back on the final play of the half to score their first five-pointer of the game, much to the home crowd’s delight.
There was a long break at the half after a spectator collapsed on the sideline, though MSP got straight back into it after the whistle blew with flanker Tom Horan scoring one minute into play.
Palu again decided it was his turn to make a play as he darted down the blind and linked up with Sam Coventry who split a couple of would-be tacklers to score.
Maile Koloto scored his 6th try of the season to close OBU’s account for the day, though MSP had the final say with fullback Andrew Wells scoring on the hooter.
It was a highly impressive performance from the Billy Goats. They dominated the scrum, were well disciplined and played attractive, expansive rugby as they fought their way to another five points.
OBU’s Swindale Shield campaign resumes on ANZAC Day, hosting Tawa at Nairnville Park. Kick-off is at 2.45.