Like I said before Rangitoto College have made history with their 1st XV making an appearance to Nationals and also beating a 1A Team to get there which barely ever happens and so this is a very big deal for them and their supporters. Having these last few season slowly "Grind’n" and making steps into the right direction the 1st XV and the Rugby Program have now reached something that is great and paying off for all their hard work. Rangitoto College had a massive season this year beating Rosmini College in their 2nd game of the season giving them that confidence that they can beat the best and Rosmini College was the best winning that Comp. So now Rangitoto College have beat’en the 1A school Aorere College and a massively bruising match and have punched their ticket to go to the Coed National Top 4.
One thing about Rangitoto College is that they are very realistic about what kind of team they are, what the make up of their is, where the strengths and weakness are and also what level they think they can make it too. For example they knew they couldnt out muscle Aorere College because Rangitoto are just not built like that in the forwards, so they played a lot of kicks and made the game a long distance and long sequenced phase of rugby. Heaps of little "Force Back" games and when Aorere College decided they would run it from in their 22 Rangitoto would form a defencive line and shut them down forcing the Aorere forwards to hustle to get back faster and by then lose the ball, or run them out of breath just trying to get back. This team is also well aware that their strength is really in the back line where they have Caleb Leef, Caleb Foster and Josh Corrigan, the 3 very highly talented players that know exactly the way to play and also know what works for them. Those 3 are the strong hold of this team and then you throw guys like Josh Tanner at No.8 who is a very strong running No.8 and they need him to be that as well as Breyton Lenee a real explosive work horse kind of player and he is such a hard player to put down on the run and I have always thought he should be 2nd 5/8 and he is so strong on defence too and that always helps.
Rangitoto College will bring a hard working pack in the forwards which is always a good thing and thats what you want but in this case they will have to be hard working, smart and technical about the way they go about things. They have to remember and take that realistic thinking into play and say "Yes, we are the Rookies to this stage BUT we still have to play our game and not lose focus on our strengths " Fielding HS have been there almost every year and they are the New England Patriots of the Coed Top 4 and National Top 4 winners from last year and so Rangitoto College have to keep to task. Rami Valdes and William Whitfield as Props need to take care of their scrums and when running the ball stay low and drive forward not down, I really like Ethan Clark and Ryan Mead in the Locks but they need to lift their work rate when running the ball, I would like to see them take some runs to give some rest to the bigger runners like Josh Tannaer and Breyton Lenne, and that is important to take some carries not really to make massive meters but to give time to setup and get your better runners time to set and get their breath back. Ryan Smith and Breyton Lenee will need to really play their best and to out run and out work the Fielding HS loose trio in that first game cause those boys are right up their with the best so they have a massive "Ask" in front of them.
Like I pointed out Caleb Leef, Caleb Foster and Josh Corrigan are the main guys to focus on to get this team moving. Caleb needs to keep this ball in hand and try and setup runner after runner and just shift this defence so they can start exposing some areas in the defence to attack. Caleb Foster is going to need to play straight ahead and making ground with every run and because he is big draw more players to him to open the outside for the wings and having a young fast kid like Chicayne Pryor or Sam Ashby at Fullback Josh Corrigan can really work with that kind of speed and talent. They pressure is going to be on this Rangitoto College side and the big stage and occasion is something that will play on their minds, my advice is to be excited be proud you are there and well deserving of it and take everything in and play Rangitoto Rugby cause that game is what got you there.