Rugby Southland Club Rugby Wrap Up – 9th June
Woodlands 24 – Marist 17
It was a tough weekend for both Marist senior sides who went down to their Woodlands opponents. Kelvin Hotel Marist Premier started off sluggishly against a Woodlands side who had won their past five matches and who have welcomed back some key players across the park in recent weeks. Ill-discipline from Marist allowed Woodlands to make their way down the field and they came away with points each time through three tries and two penalties in a dominant first half. Marist were able to answer shortly before oranges when halfback Jacob Carmichael had a wee snipe close to the line after a strong lineout drive from the green and black forwards. Woodlands added another three straight after halftime to take a commanding 24-5 lead. The remaining 30 minutes of the game were all Marist.
The visitors applied pressure on the Woodlands line for long periods. This included being held up over the line on multiple occasions. Marist were finally rewarded when Scott Eade crossed to close the gap. Despite having a wealth of possession and territory in the second half Marist were not able to produce the miracle comeback of the previous fixture against Woodlands and had to settle for a bonus point in the final minute when Keanu Kahukura scored close to the posts. Final score Woodlands 24 Marist 17.
A lot to work on for Marist heading into the last four weeks of round robin, however the team still holds a three-point lead at the top of the standings and has showed enough to suggest they will be a reasonable chance to cement the number one seeding over the next couple of weeks.
Star 31 – Blues 25
Elles Road New World Blues faced a fired up Star side on Saturday. Star with players returning from injury and unavailability were always going to be a different beast from the past two weeks. Star showed they were up for the challenge from the outset and held onto the ball for long periods of time, finding metres easily through the Blues defence that had been a strength in past weeks. Manaaki Selby-Rickit stormed through for a couple of impressive runs which resulted in a try for the lock and he set up another for his team mate. Blues finally found some space through a bust from Sam Winsloe which led to a try to Ethan Todd. Another try to Star and penalty added to their total as both teams went in for a chat with management at half time and one could only assume each would be very different in nature. Blues had the wind at their back and looked to use it to their advantage. A good period of play led to a try to Blues which gave the Blues supporters some hope for a comeback. Five minutes later Star responded and scored close to the posts which added to their total taking the score out to 31-15. Blues then looked to the bench and Ray Tatafu who was back from injury provided the spark needed. He used his big frame for some powerful running with ball in hand and destroyed anything that came at him on defence which would have given any opposing team nightmares and Star were no exception. This led to a try for Blues which closed the gap. 10 minutes later and after some attacking play it was another three points added by Mitch Taylor and Blues looked to be back in the game at 31-25. Rain that had been threatening all day then arrived which had a large influence on how the game was being played and for the last seven minutes of the game Star managed to keep Blues at bay. It was a welcome relief for Star when a scrum was awarded to them for the last play of the game however it was Blues who pressured the Star halfback and turned the ball over. A tense three minutes followed as Blues tried to sneak an unlikely win however it was not to be.
Pirates Old-Boys 26 – Eastern Northern Barbarians 12
Wyndham 36 – Waiau Star 7
Riversdale 23 – Midlands 16
Te Anau 27 – Mossburn 26
Waikaka 25 – Edendale 13
Blues B 66 – Star B 10
Chemdry Southland Blues B and Star B met for another top of the table clash at Waverley Park on Saturday. Blues were prepared for a tight tussle with a young Star side that has been travelling well. Chemdry Southland Blues B were on a mission and from the first whistle dictated play forcing a five metre scrum. The strong front row led by powerful props Daniel Roberts and Josh Borland sent the Star pack in reverse and the referee did not hesitate to award a penalty try. Blues again went on the attack through a break from halfback Shea Read. A number of phases later and Blues were in again. Jay Coote was next to feature on the scorecard as he scored 10 minutes later. Star then hit back with a couple of tries which hinted at some resistance but another try to the rampant Blues side shortly after ensured they went into the break with a commanding lead. The second half was all Blues and the pressure put on a young Star side started to show, as frustration and ill-discipline led to a yellow card followed by a red card 10 minutes later. Blues took advantage of the extra space and added eight more tries through Sam Hyde, Daniel Roberts, Mathew Kane x three, another to Jay Coote, John Ngatai and Sam Muir. Fulltime 66 – 12. Sam Hyde continues his impressive form as does Mathew Kane however it was the dazzling form of ever young prop Daniel Roberts with his offloads, scrummaging and powerful runs which earned him MVP and was sure to impress the Stags selectors who were present. Both sides now split into the top Pool joined by Waikatipu after their impressive win over POB. The 3 sides will join Albion, Pioneer and Riverton to battle it out for the Division two title.
Wakatipu Wanderers 66 – Pirates Old-Boys B 10
Woodlands B 24 – Marist B 14
Tokanui 31 – Albion Excelsior 15
Riverton 27 – Pioneer 24
Waikiwi 28 – DLS 12
Otautau 14 – Bluff 10
In a top of the table clash Otautau hosted Bluff at Holt Park in pretty good conditions. In what was a massive battle both sides threw plenty at each other. Bluff opened the scoring with a penalty before the home side replied after a terrific lineout drive leading to the opening try which was unconverted. After gaining some more territory Otautau turned pressure into points with Matty Brame kicking two penalties to take the score to 11-3 at oranges. The second half was more of the same, both teams ball runners showing no regard for their bodies and equally staunch defence. Otautau got another penalty to go up 14-3 and came agonisingly close to another try through a quick tap to Wily veteran Mike Morris but it was adjudicated to have been knocked on (always next week Mike). The last 10 minutes of the match belonged to Bluff as they threw the kitchen sink at the Otautau try line & after numerous phases and an Otautau yellow card they managed to score a converted try bringing the score to 14-10 with three minutes to go. Otautau hung tough though and have rightly earned their unbeaten record this season. Standouts for the home side were number 12 Joel Maguire, prop Ashley Harrison and openside flanker Cho Herewini.
Mataura 135 – Collegiate 0
Balfour-Lumsden 28 – Bush Pirates 16
On a mild slightly windy club day at Balfour, Bush Pirates arrived and took their chances and scored two good tries to have a deserved half time lead of 13-3. Balfour-Lumsden came alive in the second half and dominated proceedings to score five second half tries. Two each to captain Matt Muir and Will Hellewell and one to Chris Ponga. Bush Pirates never gave up but two yellow cards for high tackles in the second half made life difficult. The coaches had a hard job picking player of the day as all the Balfour-Lumsden players played well in patches but eventually Joe Moir received the award. A tough battle against Mataura in Balfour is expected next week.
Ohai Nightcaps BYE
Gore High 1stXV vs Verdon/Aurora 1stXV
This was the toughest game so far in 2018 for Gore High with Verdon/Aurora piling the pressure on right from the start led by a competitive forward pack. Gore showed good defence and withstood the pressure and by half time had scored a couple of good tries along with a conversion and penalty to lead 15-0. The second half saw Gore High score another four tries after turning the pressure onto the combined team and a strong set piece which limited their possession. Verdon/Aurora went close to scoring numerous times and their effort was rewarded with an intercept try late in the half. Stand outs for Verdon/Aurora were their front row who never gave up and a hard running Number 12 Xavier Wright who pressured the Gore defensive line with the limited ball available. For Gore High School captain Jakob Harrex at Number eight had a standout game before leaving the field at the three quarter mark. Hayden Michaels at openside flanker and Kane Collins at halfback also had standout games for Gore High. Gore’s next game is in Wyndham up against Menzies on Saturday.
Source: Rugby Southland