Tight tussle made for a great game of rugby!

The 2021 edition of the Matt Gunter Memorial Exchange was smaller compared to other years with only the 1st XV Rugby teams competing due to various reasons, however it was a fantastic game played by all involved and was a great way to honor Matt once again for this special game.

This was the 9th year of the fixture being played between Greymouth HS and Nelson College Boarders, it did no disappoint! If you would like to relive the game please check out the recording of the livestream.

This year Greymouth HS with support from the kapa haka group performed a haka in response to the powerful Nelson College haka, this was a fantastic haka and the boys performed it so well. We cannot wait to see the whole 1st XV team performing our school haka in 2022 fixtures.

Thank you to Alyssa Blacktopp and Bill Phillips for capturing the action of this great game, please click the link to view the photos

Game Report

1ST HALF

Nelson College where the first ones to open up the scoring, converting the try through some powerful running. GHS 0 – 7 NC

A good restart from GHS forced Nelson deep into their own 22 for a line out, the pressure from there was great from our boys charging down the kick to then gain possession. The boys swung the ball out to the left where Kalim Symonds finished off the move with the some speed to go over the line. Marty Rochford started off his kicking duties well nailing the conversion bringing the score back to even. GHS 7 – 7 NC

Greymouth put the Nelson team under pressure again close to their try line and pulled penalty out, quick thinking from our boys for a tap and go caught Nelson on the back foot and Captain Theo Barnett went in close to the post for his first try. Rochford again solid from the boot adding the extras. GHS 14 – 7 NC

Once again we found ourselves deep in the Nelson 22 putting pressure on all over the show, Greymouth pulled another penalty close to the line for Nelson not releasing. Once again the boys are in favour of a quick tap and go, this time Derek Chizuni was in the right place to muscle over the try line. Sam Shaw took over kicking duties as Rochford came off injured and he slotted the easy extra points. GHS 21 – 7 NC

Nelson weren’t quire done with the half, giving the ball to their big powerful runners and stormed over the line to get some more points on the board just as the half time whistle went, NC added the extra through the conversion.

HALF TIME: Greymouth HS 21 – 14 Nelson College

2ND HALF

After half time a lot of the game was played in the middle of the park with both teams taking their time to settle back into the game.

Greymouth had a solid scrum in front of the posts which made for a great base to work off for the team. They caught Nelson in an offside position then again used a tap and go to put the opposition on the back foot which had worked well earlier in the the game. This time Jak Partridge was on the end of the tap to go in easily under the posts to open up the scoring for the second half, Shaw had a kick right in front of the posts to stretch out the lead even more. GHS 28 – 14 NC

Nelson had a good amount of possession and found an overlap out on the left wing for their speedy player to race in for their first try of the half to eat away at the lead Greymouth had formed. GHS 28 – 19 NC

Nelson where doing a fantastic job of keeping the ball alive putting GHS on the back foot as they were constantly making desperate tackles to slow down the attacking pace. Nelson’s work paid off with going over the line again after multiple phases of play closing the gap even further, however they were not able to convert again allowing GHS to hang onto the lead. GHS 28 – 24 NC

In the last play of the game Nelson gained possession from our scrum after a small mistake, they did not let this extra possession go to waste and when over the line to take the lead – shortly after the full time whistle blew.

FULL TIME: Greymouth HS 28 – 31 Nelson College

Matt Gunter Memorial 2021 — Image by: Sport Dept.

Congratulations to Nelson College on their win, fantastic game of footy that could have gone either way. Both teams played extremely well representing the schools with pride and doing the Gunter Family proud for this game in Matt’s honor.

Thank you to officials Colin van der Geest, assistant referees Will England and Rob Maitland. Also to Head Coach McTaggart for getting our boys to the stage of producing some excellent rugby. Finally, a huge thank you to the Gunter Family for having this fixture for the schools, it is always a special game for both sides and it never a let down.

We look forward to the 2022 installment of this exchange which is the 10 year anniversary of this game! We hope to make it an even more special occasion with more sports playing in the exchange again with U15 rugby, basketball and football. Also for those past students who played in a Matt Gunter game from 2012-2021 we are hoping to have an “Old Boys” game as the curtain raiser.

The Old Boys game will be during the school day, in the first week of Term 4 (17th-21st October), date to be confirmed. If this sounds like something you would like to be involved with please contact the Sports Coordinator to register your interest.