Mossburn win division one competition

Mossburn has won the Gerald Dermody division one Southland club rugby final.

It beat Albion Excelsior 18-12 at home on Saturday.

Albion assistant coach Richie Robinson said the game was a hell of a battle, played in very trying conditions.

Mossburn got away to a fast start and led 13-0 at halftime.

"We played well in phases, but I feel we left our run a bit late," Robinson said.

"Mossburn at home were always going to be tough and they showed us why they deserve to be the Speight's Shield holders and now the division one champs as well - we take our hats off to them."

Robinson said the massive number of supporters and sponsors both sides had up in Mossburn for the final was amazing.

Tokanui had not been beaten this season in division two, and started slight favourites to win the CJ Soper Cup against Mataura on Saturday.

Tokanui won the final 28-10 in the wet conditions at Tokanui.

The locals started the game best, and with the majority of possession they kept the ball and the big Mataura boys moving around the paddock.

Both teams showed exceptional ball handling skills considering the conditions.

Tokanui's 16 points in the first half came from three penalties and a converted try.

Mataura scored a try before the break.

Tokanui scored two more tries in the second half. The last 20 minutes was a real slog in the mud. Fatigue had set in, but neither side buckled. Mataura scored their second try in the fourth quarter.

Tokanui coach Rodger Buckingham said his team's fitness and ball movement was probably the difference.

"All the boys played well - the forward pack had an exceptional work rate. They all worked hard for each other."

Buckingham said it was a brilliant day for the club.

"There was a huge crowd, including players from other clubs.

"The standard of rugby in division one and two this season has been good, it's been really enjoyable footy."

Buckingham said Tokanui should have a strong squad again next year, and also plans to have a presidents grade team.

"The community is buoyant down here currently, and that filters into our club - we are there to have fun, we all put effort into the game and growing men."

Mataura's President's B grade team also lost its final 48-7 in Waikaia.

 - John Langford 

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