New Plymouth Old Boys will start as form favourites to take out the Taranaki premier club rugby competition next Saturday after they put on their best display of the season to thrash Spotswood United 50-12 in a one-sided semifinal.
The pace setters throughout the competition were clinical in just about everything they did at Vogeltown Park, scoring eight tries to two.
The exhausting nature of Inglewood’s 23-18 win in the could count against them in seven days, especially considering the ease of which Old Boys were able to blow past Spotswood United.
Such was the emphatic nature of the victory, the Old Boys coaches had the luxury of substituting several key players to give them rest with plenty of time still on the clock.
Spotswood United had been waiting 19 years to make another play-off appearance but they were no match for Old Boys.
From the outset Old Boys were able to pile on the pressure as they camped near the Spotswood united goal line.
That pressure started to tell after just 10 minutes as first prop Jeremy Burton crashed over before Paddy Pale made it 12-0 with a well worked try down the blindiside from a 5m scrum.
Old Boys were simply relentless as they dominated territory and possession to take a 19-0 lead into the break.
If Spotswood United had any hopes of getting back into the match in the second half they were quickly dashed as Old Boys captain Liam McBride scored an excellent try to take the score out to 26-0.
Despite their healthy lead, Old Boys refused to ease up and were in again a few minutes later when Daniel Waite crossed and David Ormrod made it 40-0 when he went through some average defence.
To their credit, Spotswood United kept trying to the end and grabbed a couple of consolation tries.
However, there was no denying the fact they were second best on the day as they failed to match Old Boys’ intensity and skill level.
When they did create opportunities, Spotswood United took some poor options, as players ignored open men outside them, choosing instead to cut back into traffic.
In contrast, the Old Boys front eight were accurate in most of their work which allowed their backline to operate off front foot ball. They also created good space for their outside backs who often found support near by.
McBride did not have to think long when asked if he thought it was their best performance of the season.
“I think so, especially against a good Spotswood side,” he said. “To put 50 points on them is pretty bloody good.”
McBride believed the convincing way in which they started set the platform for the win.
“it was all about keeping the ball and building phases because I don’t think we have done enough of it throughout the year. So to do it in the semifinals and take that into next week is pretty special.
The nature of the win would give Old Boys plenty of momentum heading into the final, McBride said.
“I think it will give us a lot. It gives us a little bit more confidence and we believe we can beat any team on our day if we turn up to play footy.”
NEW PLYMOUTH OLD BOYS 50 (P Pale, L McBride, J Carrington, D Waite, D Ormrod, C Mawson, J Burton, D Riley tries; L Rei 5 cons) SPOTSWOOD UNITED 12 (B Byrne, B Irving tries; J Hamilton con).