There was plenty of silver dangling around the necks of Southland’Touch players after the Southern IPS held in Christchurch at the weekend.
The Southland under-12 girls, under-14 boys and under-16 girls’ sides all progressed through to the final of their respective grades where they all took on Canterbury and were narrowly beaten.
The under-12 girls’ team, coached by Adam Henery got off to a good start on Saturday with a win over Canterbury Black and a nail-biting nil all draw with rivals Otago. Wins over West Coast, Marlborough and a close loss to Canterbury Red meant Southland had done enough to qualify for the final and have a shot at redemption against Canterbury Red. The final was extremely close throughout, with Southland going close to scoring the match winner in the final minutes. All tied up at the end of regulation time, the game went to extra time, in touch circles known as a drop off, which went down to four players. It was Canterbury who eventually broke away to score the match winner and take the gold. Southland had many standout performers across the weekend.
The under-14 boys’ side were huge improvers over the course of this season. After a big win over West Coast on day one, the southerners managed another win over Marlborough, followed by draws against highly rated Otago and Canterbury Red opposition. This ensured Southland booked themselves a place in the final against Canterbury Red. The game was a great spectacle played in front of a good crowd scattered around the field. The game went back and forth with both teams scoring some great touchdowns. In the end it was Canterbury Red who claimed the victory by a slim margin of 6-4. The under-14 team had many standouts across both days of competition and a real feature of their game was their ability to yard down the field at a high intensity and create try scoring opportunities.
A young under-16 girls’ side started off their tournament with narrow losses to Otago and Canterbury. A win over 5-1 win over Nelson sparked them into action and this was followed up by an extremely impressive 7-4 win over Marlborough. This set up a rematch against Otago in what was a tense semi-final. Southland started slowly but wound into gear to claim an outstanding 4-2 win to book a spot in the final against Canterbury. In the end Canterbury pulled away in the final, however it was an outstanding performance with all but one of the team being under-15 players, and the team only having 11 players, making the silver medal finish even more impressive.
Across other grades Southland teams were right in the hunt with a number of third place finishes. Southland had a presence of referees at the tournament. Des Jonker, John Eckhold, Richie Heap and Garoth van der Straaten all officiated over the tournament. Mike Saunders also attended the tournament to offer his vast experience for young referees as a referee coach.
To view the final results please CLICK HERE
- U12 Boys -3rd
- U12 Girls – 2nd
- U12 Mixed Gold – 4th
- U12 Mixed Maroon – 5th
- U14 Boys – 2nd
- U14 Girls -3rd
- U14 Mixed Maroon – 3rd
- U14 Mixed Gold – 4th
- U16 Girls – 2nd
Source: Touch Southland by arrangement.