Star snag shield by beating Woodlands

Star provided the highlight in the fourth round of the Southland premier club competition on Saturday when they beat Woodlands 79-28.

Star took possession of the Scruffy Butt Memorial Shield for the first time in four years after the demolition job out at Woodlands.

Coach Brayden Mitchell said it was one of those days when everything went Star’s way.

"We definitely had the rub of the green; our chip kicks and flick passes were all going to hand."

Star led 12-0 after 25 minutes and 24-7 at halftime. The result was beyond doubt when Star had extended their lead to 50-7 after 55 minutes.

The Star scrum performed well, as did their lineout. Hooker Jayden Henderson and brother Nick at openside played well, while blindside Semisi Tupou-Ta’eiloa is proving to be one of the grade’s standout players.

Johnny Vaili and Fale Iosefa proved an exceptional midfield combination.

It was a harsh fall to earth for Marist when they were beaten 61-12 by defending champions Pirates Old Boys Hawks at Miller St.

Marist supporters had hoped their team had turned a corner when they beat Woodlands 40-37 the previous week, but they were never in the contest against the Hawks.

The Hawks scored three quick tries and pushed their advantage to 42-5 after 30 minutes.

First five Kaea Nikora-Balloch and his team-mates were picking their hosts apart, but Marist did manage to stem the bleeding until halftime.

Hawks coach Dayna Cunningham made sure his team was fully focused on the task.

"They beat us easily in the round robin last year, so we were never going to take them lightly.

"We were happy with the first half — it was quite clinical — and our lineout and maul were very accurate."

Second five Jaye Thompson had a marvellous game and scored the ninth and final try.

Teenage loosehead prop JJ Fisher scrummed well, and loose forwards Matt James and Dusty Coveny continued their good form.

Greg Dyer was at fullback this week and helped direct the play, which complemented Kaea attacking the line and scoring 25 points.

Invercargill Blues put up their best performance of the season when they hosted the Eastern Northern Barbarians at Balmoral Dr.

Blues were well in the hunt for their first win before fading in the final 20 minutes to lose 32-15.

Blues started better and led 10-7 after 25 minutes but the visitors were in front 12-10 at halftime.

Barbarians coach Bretton Taylor said it was shaping as a tough day out, but his team improved drastically in the second half.

"We scored the last three tries and two of them were quite good. Blues played quite well; they were competitive and tried hard."

Loose forward Jacob Coghlan made his first appearance of the season for the Barbarians when he came off the bench for the second half.

— John Landford