Rugby Southland May 12 – Club Rugby Wrap Up
Rugby Southland wrap up weekend May 12 –
Marist 19 – Blues 24
Blue skies greeted Kelvin Hotel Marist as they took on Blues on Saturday. Marist started the better of the two teams stringing together multiple phases before Phil Halder went over from close range to take a five-nil lead. Blues struck back after some sloppy kicking from Marist allowed Blues to counter attack and take the lead 7-5. Marist managed to get back into their flow and put together a nice passage of play. A strong lineout drive led to Marist crashing over to make it 12-7. The green and blacks were starting to find some rhythm and looked good with the ball for parts of the first half. However against the run of play Blues picked off a Marist pass that would have likely led to a Marist try and regained the lead 14-12. Just on the stroke of halftime a Marist counter attack which again looked like a potential try on the cards, was thwarted by another Blues intercept to give them a 21-12 lead at the break.
Marist came out strong again after halftime asking several questions of the Blues defence. A number of penalties meant Marist kept the pressure on in search of a try however some strong Blues defence stopped the visitors from scoring. Marist did eventually strike though when right winger Bryce Morgan produced a nice finish in the corner after some nice handling in the build-up. The conversion meant Marist trailed by just two points with 15 minutes to play.
Blues managed a penalty with just five minutes remaining. Marist had one last crack in the final minutes to snatch the win however were not able to execute handing Blues a 24-19 win. Despite the loss the team performed better overall than in previous weeks and were unlucky with two Blues tries coming against the run of play. One bonus point means Marist still hold a five-point lead on the points table as the competition reaches the halfway point. Man of the match was Phil Halder.
Star 16 – Barbarians 19
Woodlands 23 – Pirates 19
Mossburn 13 – Edendale 5
Mossburn have kept their top four aspirations alive with a nice win over 2nd placed Edendale. Edendale travelled up to Athol to play Mossburn hosting their home game. Country Pirates (Athol) and Mossburn combined 28 years ago and to continue affiliation one of Mossburn’s home games is played at Athol every season now. The game was greeted with great conditions and the Edendale backs always looked dangerous on attack, but the defence of the Mossburn Stags held strong. Liam Adams scored a nice try from half back with 2nd five Napol Serulelele kicking the conversion. Napol also added two peanalty goals throughout the game. Mason Adams and Henry Benseman worked hard up front and made good meters with ball in hand while Guy Collins was very effective in the loose forward pack. Local lad Chris McNamee was the player of the day with another good showing on the wing.
Waiau Star 0 – Waikaka 44
In ideal conditions Waikaka overcame a tenacious Waiau Star team on their home ground of Tuatapere. Waiau started strongly, making the Waikaka defence stand up and take notice. Gradually the Waikaka team got into their work and started opening up the Waiau defence running in good team tries setting up Hayden Stephen scoring twice. In the second half Waikaka drifted off the game plan due to the presence of a strong Waiau defence. Waikaka added two further tries to complete out the game. Tegan Wenlock and Mike Luxmore both had strong games as starting locks, Hayden Stephen was very elusive at centre, and Jordie Bungard at No. 8 was amongst everything.
Midlands 36 – Te Anau 17
Wyndham 16 – Riversdale 6
DIVISION TWO A
Riverton 5 – Albion Excelsior 39
Tokanui 22 – Waikiwi 33
Pioneer 45 – DLS 31
DIVISION TWO B
Blues B v Marist B
On a beautiful sunny Southland day Blues were looking to kick off their Club / Sponsors Day with victory over Marist Bs. From the first whistle Blues appeared to be in try scoring mode as a try came from winger Matty Kane as he showed a clean pair of heals running around his opposite and the fullback to score under the post. Another 2 tries came in quick succession as the Blues side put on some early points. This kicked Marist into life as they hit back through some relentless attacking on the Blues line through a series of pick and go’s and some sharp hands from Tre Mackenzie and their young guns in the backline. This closed the gap, but Blues went into half time with the lead. The second half saw the flood gates open and bustling runs from forwards Jay Navu Naqianivalu and Lima Leiataua resulted in a series of tries for Blues. Sione Kaufononga showed his power and class throughout the second half as did Sam Hyde on multiple occasions. Good back up play from the Blues side ensured most opportunities were capitalised. Special thanks goes out to Marist’s player who refereed the first 15 minutes of the game.
AWS Legal Marist Development were looking to close the gap on a red-hot Blues B team. Marist started the game well and although they conceded two early tries the team played some good rugby and were rewarded when lock Simon Dowling barged his way over the line to make the score 12-7 to Blues at halftime. Unfortunately, Blues managed to again pull away late in the second half to take a comfortable win, but the Marist team never gave in with a number of younger players stepping up alongside the likes of Dom Rikiti and Stu Adam. One highlight was the return of young halfback Harlam Heydon who returned to the field after several weeks out with a leg injury. The team take on Pirates-Old Boys next weekend and will be looking to repeat their victory the last time the two teams met. Player of the day for Marist was the mercurial Paddy Corkery.
Star 48 – Wakatipu 0
Woodlands 38 – Pirates 12
Otautau 22 – Ohai Nightcaps 19
In front of a bumper crowd, Otautau held off a strong Ohai Nightcaps team notching up another win. In a free flowing game the home side looked to have the game in hand at 22-7 with 15 minutes to go but to the visitors credit, they pushed Otautau right to the wire taking two well-earned tries to set up a nail biting finish. However, as Otautau have done all season, dug deep and held on for the win. Man of the match for Otautau Ryan Sharp had another stand out game along with fellow loosies James (hot cross buns) Hall and Cho Herewini. The Otautau boys look forward to a well-deserved break this week having the bye before building into the second round robin.
Balfour/ Lumsden 67 – Collegiate 7
A depleted Collegiate team travelled to Balfour on a beautiful warm sunny afternoon for the bottom of the table clash. Balfour/ Lumsden came out with their first win of the season after leading 34-0 at half time ran out winners by 65-7 scoring some great team tries along the way. Shaun Orchard with his hattrick was named player of the day closely followed by Bevan Roy and Chris Ponga. Collegiate to their credit never gave up and scored a well-deserved team try midway through the second half. Balfour/ Lumsden will face a much tougher test next week in Bluff.
Mataura 15 – Bluff 17
Central Pirates BYE
Gore High played James Hargest 1st XV at Gore in great conditions perfect for rugby. James Hargest’s young team defended bravely but were over powered on the day going down 101 – 0 with Gore High scoring tries evenly amongst the forwards and the backs. Gore’s captain Jakob Harrex led from the front with some good runs and 4 tries with the other loosies also combining as well to put pressure on James Hargest both on defence and attack, Hayden Michaels also scoring 3 tries and Bailey Turnbull at No. 6 working hard on defence. James Hargest competed well in set piece winning some good ball but were under pressure on attack both in close and in the back line. Harrison Morton at lock had another outstanding game for Gore winning player of the day with great runs and off-loads, with Jakob earning 2 points followed by Cameron Miller at No. 10 winning 1 point with a try and 100% conversions kicked 12 out of 12. James Hargest never gave up and will improve as the season progresses.