First round sees big wins

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THE Premier Club Rugby Competition got under way in Southland last Thursday night.

Pirates Old Boys (POB), Marist and Woodlands were the winners in round one.

This Saturday, the Eastern Northern Barbarians will play Star at the Gore Showgrounds, before celebrating in their new clubhouse at the Gore Racecourse.

Woodlands hosts Marist, and both teams are coming off big wins in round one. Blues hosts Midlands at Balmoral Dr, while POB have the bye.

The main game in round one was between Marist and Blues under Marist’s new lights in Invercargill. The green and blacks marked the occasion with a dominant 46-10 victory.

Marist started the game strongly; its ball retention was impressive while there was neat interplay between their forwards and backs.

Marist midfielder Will Murray scored the first try after swooping on a Blues error. Marist’s new fullback from Riverton, Cullen Thompson, added the conversion and a penalty goal soon after.

Marist’s second try also came from a Blues mistake, but the third try was a 100m effort finished off by Thompson.

With a 22-0 lead, Marist began the second half with the wind behind it and continued its ascendancy. Blues did manage to build periods of pressure in the third quarter and was
rewarded with a try in the corner at the 60-minute mark.

The teams traded tries during the final quarter and it was Marist captain Scott Eade who had the final say with a long-range drop goal.

There were many standout players in the Marist team, but it was prop Quinn Harrison-Jones who was named man of the match after excelling in all facets of the game.

In the other matches, POB beat the Eastern Northern Barbarians 17-15 at Les George Oval, while Midlands had a tough assignment first up against the defending champion at Woodlands, losing 50-nil. Star had the bye.

The Division One and Two competitions have 25 teams split into three groups. These lower divisions begin this Saturday, and will undergo a mid-season restructure; the Division One
grade will split into the Ack Soper Shield competition, and the Gerald Dermody Shield.

The Division Two competition will see the top half competing for the CJ Soper Trophy, while the Life Members’ Trophy is the prize for the bottom half of teams.

The Women’s competition will kick off this Sunday. A sixth club has entered the fray; Midlands will join Pioneer, Wakatipu, Marist, Albion and the defending champion Blues.
The President’s grade teams are yet to be revealed.

Premier Grade draw: EN Barbarians v Star, Woodlands v Marist, Blues v Midlands. Pirates Old Boys a bye.
Division One: Waikaka-Riversdale v Tokanui, Friday 7pm, Waikiwi v DLS, Wyndham v Edendale, Albion v Te Anau on G2, Pioneer v Mataura.
Division Two: Bush Pirates v Riverton, Balfour v Bluff, Mossburn v Waiau Star, Collegiate v Ohai Nightcaps Otautau.
Division Two B: Woodlands v Marist B 1.30pm, Blues B v Midlands B 1.30pm, Wakatipu B v Star B, POB B a bye.
Women: Albion v Marist, Wakatipu v Pioneer, Blues v Midlands.

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