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Thursday, 13 December 2018 11:06 am

Silverstream 1st XV lose co-captain but coach has talent to call on

May 24th, 2018 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

 

St Pat’s Silverstream coach Tim Mannix says the team will focus on one play at a time in its bid to repeat last year’s success in traditional and Weltec championship games.

St Patrick’s College Silverstream 1st XV team have lost their captain and one of their top players Josh Southall with a knee injury.

He looks to be out for the season.

Coach Tim Mannix says Southall would’ve been one of the players to watch this season.

“He was in the NZ Secondary Schools team last year as a year 12 which is a real rare feat, and he was certainly looking fit and ready to go. So a real loss to have him out,” Mannix says.

Southall says it was an honour to be named captain and he’ll still want to contribute.

“Considering I can’t be on the field leading by example, it’s more like what can I do off the field, support the boys, give feedback, not like a coaching role, but give them honest opinion and feedback on what to work on,” Southall says.

Last year the team had a clean sweep in all of their traditionals and won Wellington’s Weltec Premiership title and the coach and captain believe that they can do it again.

Southall has a simple message for the team.

Injured captain Josh Southall will be helping on the sidelines this season.

“Trust the structures that Tim and Nigel [Bingham], the coaches, put into play and just not get too far ahead of ourselves and control the ball.”

Mannix believes the team can do it because they’ve got a group of boys who are really motivated.

“I think that’s the first thing you got to have and if we can develop as a group over this next 6 week period, where start to play some of our Traditionals and the first half of the Weltec Competition.”

“If we can build nicely in that period it sets us to launch well for the playoffs, if we get into that top four.”

He wants them to take it one play at a time.

“There’s a quote we had with last year’s team ‘from the simple comes the spectacular’, so it’s just getting those little things, those little details and from that good things will happen.”

Mannix says this year’s team has 10 players returning compared to 17 boys returning last year.

“We have lost a lot of our backline so this year’s back line going to be quite new, but that’s often the way with 1st XV rugby.

“I think our forwards are going to be similar to last year’s team so that will be some consistency and experience there.

“There’s some very capable players that have come in, boys that have come up from 2nd XV, even a boy that’s come up from under-15.

“We’ve just got to help them find their feet at 1st XV level.”

However, Mannix says that the team will not be changing the way they play to last year.

“We feel like the strength of Silverstream rugby and the boys we’ve got there  is to play a game where we spread across the field with our attack and look to find the spaces and the mismatches.

“So I guess we’ll still be trying to do that, that’s what we worked on last year.”

Mannix says while they’ve lost Southall they’ve got some other strong players in the forwards.

“Luke Chisholm in the front row who is going really well, he is been a part of the Wellington Premier Academy which is part of a group of boys that train together who been identified by Wellington Rugby.

“Iona Apineru, he’s in that same group, looks fit and ready to go, strong – both those guys will be a real physical presence in our forward pack.”

Mannix identifies that Riley Forbes and Fritz Rayasi will be key to their inexperienced backline.

“Riley Forbes is a guy who’s in the team for his 3rd year, really exciting player and a guy who I think will be immense value to us with his experience and his attacking ability.

“Another one in the backs potentially is Fritz Rayasi, he’s come back to the school after a year away, and he’s a big, fast winger.”

They had 5 weeks of pre-season training and 2 pre-season trial games.

When the season started they played Napier Boys High and lost, however they beat Hastings Boys High.

Mannix says they’ve started to come together as a team.

“Our defence is starting to take good shape, so I’m liking the boys are working hard in that area of the game.

“I know some of the boys were disappointed when we lost to Napier Boys, our very first game of the season.

“But I’ve kind of had to remind them that we had a different calendar last year where we started off playing in the qualifying round for the Weltec Premiership, whereas this year we’ve gone into this Hurricane’s Festival where essentially we’re playing the best teams in the Hurricanes region.”

Both the captain and the coach think that Scots are likely to be the toughest challenge.

However Southall is wary of the other traditional tough matches.

“I think Scots, I’m not sure what sure what Wellington College are like but I’m sure they will get up in Traditionals cos they always do, and Town will be another fierce competitor once again.”

Mannix has seen a little bit of all the teams play.

“I think Wellington College are quite a young, new team but they always have a good structure and work hard, so I’m picking they’ll be a tough team,” Mannix says.

He says Scots have got ability across the park, some good backs, good skills and they want to play a wide game which is always testing to the defence so that’s’ something they need to be mindful of against them.

“St. Pat’s Town, are looking a pretty solid team. I saw them play against Rathekale and they looked pretty solid,” Mannix says.

Mannix is a coach educator and developer for Wellington Rugby, a role in which he focuses on developing coaches, rather than players.

So his first XV work is where he gets to put “ideas on to the grass and see whether they work”.

“I think the big thing I like about coaching 1st XV rugby is that the boys are really, really passionate so they bring a lot of energy, and for a coach that makes your job a lot easier,” says the Silverstream Old Boy.

“It has certainly changed since I was there. One thing I’ve noticed is the players are a lot bigger so a lot of them do a lot of strength and conditioning work now so they come into 1st XV rugby bigger, fitter, stronger than my era, and probably the other thing is the skill set is wider.

“Probably the other thing is it’s a bit more structured, so if you watch the way the All Blacks have gone from not much structure to quite a lot of structure.”

First XV rugby players may have a professional and All Blacks career in their mind, including injured captain Southall, but there is work to do first.

“I want to try to get an apprenticeship after school, as a builder,” Southall says.

“But I also just want to keep ticking away inside the [Wellington Rugby] Academy and hopefully work my way up the rankings from there.

Is the All Black horizon a long term goal? “Yes. Long term, got to do a few things first.”

One of those is helping his first XV win this year, even if it is from the sidelines.

For details on upcoming St Pat’s Silverstream First XV matches go to: http://www.sporty.co.nz/stpats/Calendar/Rugby

 

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