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On Saturday afternoon at Rugby Park in Invercargill, Marist cemented its place as the current powerhouse of Southland club rugby.
It did it through a commanding 38-13 win over Pirates-Old Boys in the 2018 decider.
The class of 2018 created history by being the first Marist team to make it back-to-back Galbraith Shield titles in the club’s 98-year existence.
While Pirates-Old Boys threatened at times to spoil the party, the reality was Marist was a class above.
Captain and first five-eighth Scott Eade set the tone after just two minutes when he landed a 48m penalty.
Just three minutes later, centre Will Murray brushed through some disappointing Pirates-Old Boys defence to make it 8-0.
The opening exchanges were one-sided but Pirates-Old Boys rolled the dice on numerous occasions with short chip kicks inside its own half.
On one particular occasion, it paid off when fullback Josh Buchan chipped and regathered and took off down the field.
In turn, Marist was penalised and first five-eighth Greg Dyer was able to kick the points to make it 8-3.
Despite back-pedalling for the majority of the game, remarkably Pirates-Old Boys was able to hit the lead 10-8 in the 18th minute when Dyer latched on to an intercept pass and scooted close to 70m to score.
It was the sole time Pirates-Old Boys led in the final and it lasted only a matter of a couple of minutes.
Eade landed his second penalty in the 20th minute to make it 11-10 before halfback Jacob Carmichael scored with six minutes to play in the first half which made it 18-10 at the break.
Pirates-Old Boys remained in touch with a Dyer penalty 13 minutes into the second half but Marist’s dominance eventually took its toll.
Much like the week before in the 41-0 semifinal win over Blues, Marist was ruthless in the later stages of the game running three tries in the final 20 minutes to ice the win.
The first was an intercept try to sharp winger Morgan, followed by Murray’s second, and it was finished by replacement back Javaan Fa’amoe-Ioane with four minutes to play.
Eade said to notch up a first for Marist was a special feeling.
"Obviously, last year it was the monkey off the back. This year is just a stoked happy feeling to do something special by going back to back," Eade said.
"We’ve got a special group of guys. The core of us has been together for four or five years so to be able to do two in a row is bloody awesome."
Coach Marty Smith echoed those thoughts.
"It is huge, not just for myself as a coach but for the whole club. It has never been done before, to go back to back is huge," Smith said.
- Logan Savory
Will Murray 2, Jacob Carmichael, Bryce Morgan, Javaan Fa’amoe-Ioane tries; Scott Eade 2 con, 3 pen
Pirates-Old Boys 13
Greg Dyer try; Dyer 1 con, 2 pen