Late penalty gives Blues three-point win over Star

Players enjoyed ideal conditions in round two of the Southland club rugby competitions on Saturday.

Woodlands, Marist and Blues were the winners in the Galbraith Shield encounters.

Blues earned a 23-20 come-from-behind victory over Star at Balmoral Dr.

Star co-coach Chris McIlwrick said his team probably should have won the game but a lack of discipline cost them.

"We never held the ball for long enough. We either kicked it away or were penalised," he said.

Star led 10-3 at halftime and 17-13 after 60 minutes. In the closing stages, when the score was 20-20, a Star player was penalised for leaving his feet at the ruck. After he back-chatted the referee, the penalty was advanced 10 metres into a position for Blues goal-kicker Blake Tempero to land the winning points.

Blues second five-eighth Kelepi Holi and fullback Brad Kooman were both impressive. Kooman showed his electric pace to run around his opposites and score a try on the outside. Utility forward Ray Tatafu also made an impact.

Star front-rowers Chris Apoua and Greg Pleasants-Tate played well. The game’s most physically dominant player on both defence and attack was No8 Jordan Stewart.

Woodlands had a 53-15 win over Pirates Old Boys at Surrey Park, in Invercargill. Discipline was lacking in this game, too, and five players spent time in the sin bin.

Pirates Old Boys had done well to hold the favourite to 20-15 at half time but Woodlands scored 33 unanswered points in the second half.

Marist had a 13-8 win over the Eastern Northern Barbarians at the Gore Showgrounds. Marist scored a converted try just before halftime to lead 10-3.

In the Ack Soper Shield division one competition, Edendale earned a 22-19 win over Te Anau. The scores were locked at 7-7 at halftime. Edendale scored three tries, including a penalty try. Player of the day was prop Luke Muir in his 150th game for the Magpies.

Nearby, at Wyndham, the locals beat Midlands 16-10, and in the third game a good defensive effort helped Riversdale to a 12-5 win under Waikaka’s new lights on Friday night.

The top three teams are standing out in the Gerald Dermody Shield. Mossburn, Tokanui and Pioneer all won by a margin greater than 30 on Saturday.

 - John Langford

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