Marist score narrow victory

Eastern Northern Barbarians flanker Leroy Ferguson has lock Woody Kirkwood giving him a helping...
Eastern Northern Barbarians flanker Leroy Ferguson has lock Woody Kirkwood giving him a helping hand as they try to break through the Star defence in a Rugby Southland premier game at the Gore A&P Showgrounds last Saturday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON
The feature event in Southland Premier Grade Club Rugby this Saturday is between Woodlands and Star.

The Scruffy Butt Memorial Shield will be on offer at Woodlands; the shield adds extra motivation to a game that already had some extra attitude to it after both sides were beaten last weekend.

Marist provided the highlight in round three when they beat Woodlands 40-37.

In perfect field conditions at Miller St, Marist led 26-24 at halftime. Woodlands took the lead but Marist had good crowd support and enough self-belief to finish strongest and secure the bonus point win.

Marist coach Derek Manson said the entire Marist team contributed to the victory but the standout player was loose forward Jackson Bevin.

"He carried the ball strongly and made plenty of metres, he was strong in defence as well."

Manson said the set-piece was a bit back and forth.

"Our scrum was getting pushed around but our replacement prop Tangaroa Walker earned a scrum penalty near the end, when it really mattered."

Marist first five Henry Earland had a good first half before getting injured; former Stag Scotty Eade was an able replacement.

The Eastern Northern Barbarians beat Star 37-22 in the fourth senior game of the afternoon at the Gore Showgrounds.

Barbarians coach Bretton Taylor said it was a really good day for club footy.

"The big crowd provided an atmosphere, the teams had excellent support and the clubrooms were chocker."

Star had won both of their games this season and started this match confidently by scoring three unconverted tries in the first 20 minutes. The locals stayed in the fight and clawed their way back to lead 24-15 at halftime.

Taylor was happy to see his side finish the game best and get the maximum five competition points. "Our first 20 minutes was a bit slow but the last 60 was really pleasing, our set piece functioned well, it was a good platform for a good team performance."

Stags prop Morgan Mitchell excelled again, lock Woody Kirkwood led a good lineout, loose forwards Caine Taylor and Leroy Ferguson continued their good form, while midfielders Ryan McFaul and Vitali Roqica and fullback Ben McCarthy were best of the backs.

Star coach Brayden Mitchell said his boys played really well in the first 20 minutes. "We were on the front foot, but then we were not that smart, we tried to play in the wrong areas and they shut us down.

"Their forwards were good, we fronted up well at the scrum but they had our lineout covered."

Blindside Jordan Stewart and No 8 Semisi Ta’eiloa were two of the best for the visitors. Fullback Cole Spinks also impressed his coach.

"He is playing really well this year, his counter attack has been great, he’s a natural footballer with deceptive speed."

Pirates-Old Boys Hawks beat Blues 54-5 at Balmoral Dr. Blues scored an early try but the Hawks had scored four of their own before halftime to lead 26-5.

Coach Dayna Cunningham said there were some good patches in the first half but poor ball security was frustrating.

"Blues stuck with us, they tackled hard and made it difficult to get any flow, we had slow ball and it was a bit scruffy."

The second-half performance from the Hawks was more clinical, they were assisted by two yellow cards being handed out for Blues. "We changed the whole tight five, our bench brought some energy, loosehead J.J. Fisher and fellow teenager Shaun Kempton at hooker were particularly good."

The Hawks are at Marist this Saturday, while Blues will host the Barbarians.

 - By John Langford



Premier: (All 3pm kick-off) Woodlands v Star, Blues v Barbarians, Marist v Pirates-Old Boys.

Division One: (All kick-off 3pm) Edendale v Pioneer, Te Anau v Wyndham, Waikaka/Riversdale v Tokanui at Riversdale, Albion v Bye.

Division Two: (All 3pm kick-off) Collegiate v Bush Pirates, Ohai-Nightcaps-Otautau v Mataura, Drummond-Limehills-Star v Waikiwi at Drummond, Mossburn v Riverton, Waiau Star v Midlands, Wakatipu v Bye.

Senior B Development: (All kick-off at 1.15pm) Blues v Bluff, Marist v Pirates-Old Boys, Woodlands v Star.

Women: (All 1.15pm kick-off) Blues v Albion, Wakatipu v Midlands, Pioneer v Star.