Rugby: Massive victory for Otago

Josh Renton crosses the tryline in Otago match against Southland at Dunedin's Forsyth Barr...
Josh Renton crosses the tryline in Otago match against Southland at Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium. Photos by Gregor Richardson.
Mikaele Mafi makes a break during Otago's match against Southland at Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium.
Mikaele Mafi makes a break during Otago's match against Southland at Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Southland skipper Jamie Mackintosh was the hero for Southland five years ago when his side and Otago met in a Ranfurly Shield classic in Invercargill. 

The big prop scored the winning try that day to retain the log of wood but he was the villian last night for his beloved Southland, sent from the field midway through the first half in another southern derby.

Otago took more than full advantage of the mismatch. It proceeded to run all over its southern neighbours, racking up a massive 61-7 victory.

Mackintosh's absence - for a stray elbow off the ball - was a huge blow for the visiting side at Forsyth Barr Stadium and it was up the creek without a paddle as soon as he left the field.

The home side rattled on 39 points in the first half to have the game in the bag after 40 minutes. It kept the pressure on in the second half and even if Mackintosh had stayed on the field it would have still been the same result.

By the end Otago was almost toying with the Southland side, which had one of those days it would quickly want to forget.

Otago was lively in both backs and forwards, ran some nice angles and found it easier as the game went on to get over the advantage line.

The blue and golds have been on the improve in recent weeks and they showed some real spark at times, moving the ball all round the paddock to tire out the southern neighbours.

Hooker and skipper Liam Coltman has been out for a couple of weeks with damaged ribs but he came back with a bang, hitting rucks and brushing off would be tacklers in a first half try.

Otago was quick to put the dagger in as soon as Mackintosh left the field, scoring a driving try off a lineout from 15m out virtually as soon as Mackintosh was dismissed.

It then backed that up with two tries in the final five minutes of the first half with the Otago outside backs finding some holes in the Southland defence.

Matt Faddes and Tei Walden were energetic in the Otago backline while up front locks Tom Franklin and Blair Tweed led the way.

Peter Breen helped himself to 26 points for Otago in the victory.

With the win Otago pushes into the top four of the ITM Cup championship.


Otago 61 (Michael Collins, Liam Coltman, James Lentjes, Tei Walden, Peter Breen, Josh Renton, Jayden Spence, Matt Faddes tries; Breen 6 con, 2 pen, d-goal) Southland 7 (Willis Halaholo try, Lima Sopoaga con) Halftime: 39-7.


 

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