Otago Development gives Otago Country a hard lesson in clinical rugby

Otago Country was soundly beaten by Otago Development, 75-12, in Ranfurly.

The Development side ran in 11 tries to two, with seven of its tries coming in the first half.

Development started strongly and was three tries up inside the first quarter of an hour. It piled the pressure on Country at ruck time and dominated the collision areas.

It kicked intelligently and used its superior lineout to force turnovers and attack in good field position.

Country found it very hard to get its hands on the ball. When it managed to, the solid Development defence forced errors and more often than not created point scoring opportunities.

Halftime could not come soon enough for the Country side as the Development team scored more than a point a minute to go into halftime 47-7 ahead.

Country's only points came on the halftime whistle when midfielder Hayden Todd crashed over. Ben Maxwell converted.

Country was determined to show its mettle in the second half and managed to keep Development scoreless for the first quarter of an hour.

Country even managed to build phases inside its opposition's half but its apparent lack of structure and willingness to rush things let it down. This allowed Development to control possession and keep the scoreboard ticking over.

As changes were made in the second half, both sides created chances and gave the ball extended air time. But Development was just far too clinical and made their chances count.

Country did manage to score midway through the second half. Fullback Warwick Cheney scored for the third time in as many games, but it was only a consolation try at best. Development kept its foot on the throat and finished as it had started with a try at the death.

While Country was outclassed and outplayed by a very strong Otago Development team, the majority of the Country players put in a reasonable effort and did not disgrace themselves.

Lock Dean Sinnamon put in a very solid 80-minute performance, while front rowers Ben Millar and Josh Turnbull added some much needed go forward off the bench.

Winger Sylvester Reeves was put under a lot of pressure but was safe on the ball.

Lock Josh Hill was immense for the Development team. He got through a mountain of work, dominated set piece and tackled hard all day. Flanker Sam Fischili was a pest at the breakdown and got into his work well and No 8 Mikaele Mafi scored three tries and was hard to stop.

Matt Whaanga and Josh Timu were the best of the Development backs.

Otago Country heads to Waikouaiti next weekend to take on South Canterbury Development, which also had an impressive win over its North Otago counterpart yesterday.

Country v Development

The scores

Otago Development   75

Mikaele Mafi 3, Nic Souchon, Sepa Vaka, Tim Hogan, Kody Edwards, Matt Whaanga, Ben Morris, Kane Johnston, George Witana tries; Witana 6 con, Mackenzie Haugh 4 con

Otago Country   12

Warwick Cheney, Hayden Todd tries; Ben Maxwell con

Halftime: 47-7

-By Francis Parker

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