Plenty of action in Pirates Old Boys, Barbarians game

Last weekend in Southland Premier Club Rugby, the reigning champions Pirates Old Boys took their home game against the Eastern Northern Barbarians out to Oreti Park.

The Barbarians are known for their dominant forward pack but their backline also had the talent to excel on the firm ground. The Babaas kicked an early penalty goal and their scrum had quickly established supremacy.

After a Barbarian midfielder was stopped in his tracks by an offensive tackle from Rua Tupou, centre Jaye Thompson scooped up the loose ball and scooted away to score the first converted try for Pirates.

Barbarians landed a penalty goal after 29 minutes and Pirates midfielder Napoli Seru was sent to the sin bin for a late tackle.

Pirates held their 7-6 lead until halftime and after the resumption their prop Levi Gage was first to score from a series of pick and go movements. The visitors immediately hit back with a try to wing Josefa Boletakibureta to make 14-11.

The last 10 minutes saw plenty of action; a penalty goal to Greg Dyer was cancelled out by a try to Baabas replacement halfback Connor Collins.

Another penalty to Dyer made it 20-18, and with time up, the Barbarians had a chance to steal victory with a penalty goal attempt but missed.

Barbarians coach Bretton Taylor said it was a good physical game that got a bit testy from time to time.

"Either side could’ve won — both sides applied pressure and were guilty of mistakes. We were a bit disappointed not to be rewarded from our scrum dominance."

The visitors’ usual suspects were impressive: prop Morgy Mitchell, lock Woody Kirkwood, the loose forwards, midfielder Angus Simmers and halfback Collins made an impact off the bench.

Star and Blues also played at the excellent rugby facility at Oreti Park.

Star led 42-nil at halftime but the second half was a different story. Star had scored their tries in the first half through individual brilliance rather than putting any phases together. Star’s overconfident group of individuals played right into the hands of Blues in the second half and Blues closed the margin to 49-33.

Star coach Brayden Mitchell said his team went to sleep. "We didn’t do ourselves any favours but credit where it is due, Blues played very well."

Star loose forwards Dylan Lovett and Kaya Symon were the top performers.

Marist earned a 24-17 win over Woodlands at Miller St. Marist led 17-nil at halftime but the understrength Woodlands team came back to 17-14 with 15 minutes remaining.

A determined Marist side scored a converted try and late in the game with the win out of reach Woodlands kicked a goal to get a bonus point.

Marist are favoured to get another win this Saturday at Blues, Woodlands have Pirates Old Boys while Star will need to put in an 80 minute effort to beat the Barbarians in Gore.

 - By John Langford


Draw — Premier: (All games 3pm) Woodlands v Pirates-Old Boys, Blues v Marist, EN Barbarians v Star.

Division One: (All games 3pm) Albion v Te Anau, Pioneer v Waikaka/Riversdale, Tokanui v Wyndham.

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

Senior B: Pirates-Old Boys v Woodlands (12.30pm), Blues v Bluff (1.15pm), Marist v Woodlands (1.15pm).

Women: Midlands v Pioneer (1.15pm), Albion v Star (1.15pm), Blues v Wakatipu (3pm).