Students win twice, one big, one close

Otago University cranked up the pressure to win both its games in the second round of the Otago Rugby League competition on Saturday.

University thumped the Kia Toa Tigers 64-16 in the opening game, then had to dig deep to beat the South Pacific Raiders 20-12 in the second.

Josh Thompson and Jermaine Pepe each had doubles as the students scored 12 tries in the win over the Tigers.

Pepe, switching from a fine season of rugby union for the University club, showed his speed and skill from fullback.

Shay Reddy and Cam Todd steered the team around well, and a forward pack led by Ricki Allan and Troy Anstiss laid a good platform for the team to attack on the fringes.

However, the defensive effort was not in the same class, University coach Ray Fitiao said, and Kia Toa showed some nice touches on attack to constantly threaten the University defence.

In game two, the students bounced back well from their first-round loss to South Pac, lifting their intensity and accuracy.

Allan and Anstiss were again to the fore with some strong carries and defence, while Todd and Jayden Hollander threatened and broke the opposition’s line.

Hollander was also a stand-out on defence, one tackle in particular knocking a player over and leading to spilled ball.

"It typified the energy and passion the team played with all game," Fitiao said.

South Pac had earlier beaten the Waitaki Warriors 36-6.

Kia Toa then defaulted to the Warriors. Auckland guest club Ponsonby had a double bye.

Games will be played in Oamaru this weekend.

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