Cosie Cup with Woodlands after upset victory over Old Boys

Woodlands caused an upset in the penultimate round of the Southland premier club competition when they beat Pirates Old Boys 35-33 on Saturday.

Woodlands had already secured the fourth spot for the semifinals but this was a much-needed confidence boost at the business end of the season.

It also meant getting their hands on the Cosie Cup, the memorial trophy in the name of Paul Cosgrove.

Teenaged Woodlands flankers Justin Shaw and Gregor Rutledge got to play alongside reigning Stags player of the year Blair Ryall at No 8.

Rutledge’s father, Jason, was playing prop on Saturday, while the team was without frontliners Joe Walsh and Paula Latu.

Woodlands had some quality front row back-up on the reserve bench in former Stags captain Jamie Mackintosh.

Woodlands scored a converted try just before halftime to lead 21-19.

The competition’s best midfielder, Jaye Thompson, scored a converted try for Old Boys after the break but Woodlands regained the lead with a try under the posts.

Old Boys impact prop Levi Gage barged over for another converted try that had the favourites in front 33-28, but Woodlands scored a converted try on fulltime.

A game of equal interest on Saturday was between top-of-the-table Star and the Eastern Northern Barbarians in Gore.

The Barbarians had a full-strength squad for the first time this year and won 36-32.

The Baabaas played some good rugby in the first half and led 26-10 at the break. Star’s try had come from an intercept so the locals were feeling in charge.

Star got back to 26-22 before the Barbarians scored a converted try and a penalty to lead 36-22.

The Barbarians were nearly penalised off the park in the last 20 minutes and were forced into making a lot of tackles. Openside Leroy Ferguson was up for the challenge, as was prop Morgan Mitchell.

Coach Bretton Taylor was happy with his players’ efforts.

"They were physical on attack and defence.

"Our halfback, Connor Collins, was very good and scored two tries. He’s a good guy, too — a great pick-up for Southland."

Midfielder Angus Simmers had another solid game and left winger Josefa Boletakibureta was man of the match.

Marist earned a 34-24 win over Blues.

Marist started best but Blues closed the margin to 19-17 at halftime.

Blues were still within range when trailing 24-17 with 15 minutes to play, but Marist were able to kick a penalty and score a converted try in the closing stages to earn their second win in a row.

— John Langford