High-scoring win played on drier ground

In the Galbraith Shield on Saturday, Star beat Blues 37-32.

Star’s field at Waverley Park resembled a mud pit, so the game was moved to Les George Oval.

The dry conditions out near the beach enabled some high-scoring running rugby.

Star Coach Chris McIlwrick said the pivotal moment of the game was just before halftime, when Blues were leading 15-5 and looked certain to score again.

Blues had a three-on-one overlap but Star blindside flanker Peti Lau’ese intercepted the last pass and set out on an 80m burst that led to Jack Capil scoring by the posts.

“That was a 14-point try. If they had scored, we would have struggled to come back from there,” McIlwrick said.

Star second five-eighth Micaiah Johnston-Brown was one of the best on show, and the goal-kicking from Ben Pope was excellent. His composure to put Star ahead 34-32 with a conversion from the sideline was followed up with a penalty goal.

Replacement hooker Kaya Symon played well, Capil is in career-best form at lock and Jordy Stewart was again dominant with his ball carrying.

Blues midfielder Kelepi Holi punched holes in Star’s defence, lock Jay Naqianivalu also impressed, while the experienced Blues prop Michael Peterson was having his own way at scrum time.

Star earned five competition points to stay in contention with the top four, with two games remaining before the semifinals.

Woodlands had a narrow 19-18 win on home turf against Marist, while further up the road, at the Gore Showgrounds, the Eastern Northern Barbarians were beaten 37-19 by Pirates Old Boys.

In the division one competition, the Midlands team suffered its second loss in a row, this time 17-13 at Wyndham. Waikaka carried on its hot form with a 41-11 win over Edendale. This was Waikaka’s ninth win in a row since losing its opening game to Wyndham.

In division two, Drummond Limehills Star had a 24-0 win against Wakatipu, in the sunshine in Frankton. Kurtis Smith scored two tries and Jimmy Johnstone had a good day off the tee. Man of the match was Kyle Sinclair and James Riordan also out in the hard graft.

- By John Langford

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