Saturday’s perfect conditions propel Marist to narrow victory

Marist provided the highlight in round three of the Southland premier club competition on Saturday, beating Woodlands 40-37.

In perfect conditions at Miller Street, 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.

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."

Marist first-five Henry Earland had a good first-half before getting injured, and Scotty Eade was an able replacement.

The Eastern Northern Barbarians beat Star 37-22 at the Gore Showgrounds.

Star had won both of their games this season and started this game 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.

Barbarians coach Bretton Taylor was happy to see his side finish the game best and get the maximum five competition points.

Morgan Mitchell. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Morgan Mitchell. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
"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 in good form, and midfielders Ryan McFaul and Vitali Roqica and fullback Ben McCarthy were best of the backs.

Star coach Brayden Mitchell said his team played 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."

Blindside Jordan Stewart and No 8 Semisi Tupou-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, and he’s a natural footballer with deceptive speed."

Centre Johnny Vaili also had a good game for Star.

Pirates Old Boys Hawks beat Blues 54-5 at Balmoral Drive.

Blues scored an early try but the Hawks had scored four of their own before halftime to lead 26-5.

The second-half performance from the Hawks was more clinical, helped by two yellow cards for the Blues.

Pirates Old Boys got plenty of energy from the bench, from hooker JJ Fisher and fellow teenager Shaun Kempton at loosehead prop.

— John Langford