GALLERY: Frenchville’s friendly shows class in Thrifty Cup
IT'S getting a bit confusing in the Thrifty Cup rugby union competition. With a decision on the future of Brothers and Colts imminent, their suspension meant the game between Frenchville and Cap Coast on the weekend was, technically, a friendly.
"We were due to play Colts and they were due to play Brothers," Frenchville coach Lance Robb explained.
"We both got the competition points for those matches and Cap Coast wanted to play to help with a fundraiser they had planned, so we said why not?"
Fortunately, both clubs suffered no injuries in the match and Frenchville, despite it being a non-competition game, again stamped their credentials on the Thrifty Cup competition. They have been quietly going about their business this season and after four matches remain undefeated, racking up some big scores on their opponents in the process. It was no different on Saturday, piling on 33 unanswered points on Cap Coast.
"It was a bit of a grind in the beginning for us in that match," Robb said.
"We started slowly and they started strongly. Then our outside backs began to dominate and find space and create opportunities. Our in-form fullback, Kalani Heke, was again on fire and scored a double, while Anthony Raymond, our outside centre, had a very big match."
That's one of the most impressive aspects of this Frenchville side this season; their balance. They have an outstanding backline, reliably served by outstanding young halfback Lachlan Howell, 19. Their five eighth Robert Chelepe controls the game well and has the skills to unleash the fast men outside him.
Their forward pack is powerful, exemplified by the big No.8 Manni Robb and their lock, Josh Bolck.
"Josh is a big, strong player," Robb said.
"He takes four players with him on his typically powerful carries; he's very hard to put down. We do have a balanced side this year. It's not a team of stars but a team of quality players across the park who gel extremely well together."
On present form, they have got one hand on the Thrifty Cup.