Star looking to shine but Marist energised

Star is looking to earn two wins in a row for the first time this year when it hosts Marist in the Southland premier club rugby competition tomorrow.

Marist has lost its last four games, and had a comprehensive 59-19 loss to Pirates Old Boys last week.

Marist has gone back to the drawing board this week and intends to finish off the season with pride.

It has three games left, and the men might take some inspiration from the Marist women’s team, which won its final 25-14 against Midlands last week.

Star had a slow start to the season but will be more than a match for Marist.

After an unlucky draw with Blues a fortnight ago, Star then beat Midlands by a large margin last weekend.

If Star can get the win tomorrow it will move past Marist into fifth on the competition ladder. This would be a respectable position for Star after enduring constant setbacks through sickness and injuries this year.

Pirates Old Boys Hawks will host Invercargill Blues at Surrey Park.

Last year they suffered their first loss in the semifinal but this year their first loss came at Woodlands a fortnight ago. The Hawks benefited from the loss and put up a clinical display against Marist last week.

Greg Dyer’s kicking radar was on when he converted seven of their nine tries.

Blues have a big task of containing the pace of the Hawks backline; utility Materua Tupou scored a hat-trick last week for the Hawks.

The clash of the halfbacks will be of interest to many: youngster Josh Murrell against Blues captain Jay Renton.

Blues have drawn their last two games. Blues let Woodlands in to score in the last play of the game for a 34-34 draw last weekend.

Blues remain in the hunt for one of the two spots in the final on July 16.

For Pirates Old Boys, the equation is simple, win this week and they are in.

Woodlands is expected to extinguish the Eastern Northern Barbarians’ faint of hopes of making the final.

Liam Howley had the No 10 jersey and the kicking duties for Woodlands last week in the absence of Marty McKenzie. McKenzie is expected to line up tomorrow.

Midlands has the bye this week.

By John Langford

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