Brought to you by Whanganui Rugby
The job this week for coaches Mark Cosford and Russell Gedye was keeping the feet of their St Johns Whanganui Metro Colts firmly on the ground after the 76-0 demolition of Massey University RFC last Saturday.
The second game of a Cooks Gardens double header, Metro led 33-0 at halftime and carried on their dominance.
While Massey brought enough players for a small bench, they lacked for specialist front rowers, meaning the entire match was played with golden-oldie scrums.
Taking that set piece out of the game was frustrating for Metro, who wanted to utilise their props in 2018 Colts title-winner Emanual Savage and judo exponent Keightley Watson.
"It's a bit of a disappointment when you're got a really good scrum," said Cosford.
"When you go to Manawatū, they try to dominate the forward game, and we try to get the ball wider – so that's one of the work-ons.
"[Second half], the target was to get our defensive line right and be strong over the ball, stop them with counter rucking."
Playing their regular fast-pace style, Metro's score quickly mounted as winger Joey Devine made a 31-point haul from a hat-trick of tries and eight conversions.
Leading the MRU Colts points table, Metro are expecting a much stronger test from fourth-placed Old Boys Marist RC, who had a draw with undefeated defending champions the Feilding Yellows a fortnight ago.
"There's one thing me and Russ do, and that's put their feet back down quickly," said Cosford.
That game is scheduled for a 12.45pm kickoff at the Whanganui Collegiate grounds.
And the Metro Women's team will have one last chance to qualify for the semifinals of their short season in a fortnight's time when they meet likewise winless Bush SC away.
Metro's second-to-last match was a heavy 54-10 loss to Massey University RFC Varsity at Cooks Gardens last Saturday.
The team managed two tries, but used an untried backline and continued to have injuries, including their current captain before the game.
"The girls did as well as they can do. But they're girls playing like girls in a senior women's competition," said coach Tama Te Patu.
"These are Black Ferns, and Manawatū rep players [against us]."
"They have 12 [good] players carrying three; we have it the other way around.
"It's hard to have someone to bring them together on the field. Not a lot of experience out there, most of our senior girls are on the sideline."
Now on their bye week, Te Patu will look to use these and next week's training sessions to work further on the basics, although he is after more engagement and quicker understanding from the players, and less of the "social gathering".
Metro will still look to organise more matches after the short MRU season finishes.