It was tough conditions for rugby on the first official day of winter, but that just meant Whanganui Collegiate 1st XV truly earned their spot in the top tier of the Central North Island points table after a 19-12 win over Francis Douglas Memorial College on Saturday.

Heading to New Plymouth for their third straight away game in the CNI, Collegiate still had reason to feel confident, given Francis Douglas had lost 21-15 to their home town rivals NPBHS, only a week after Collegiate travelled up to beat Boys High in a preseason match.

Nonetheless, history was against the Whanganui