WOODLANDS, Marist, Pirates Old Boys and Star are still in contention for the Galbraith Shield Premier final heading into the penultimate round on Saturday.
Marist moved into second on the points table last weekend after a 21-17 win over Eastern Northern Barbarians. Marist led 21-nil at half-time.
Star beat Blues on a slippery surface at Waverly Park. Both sides scored a converted try in an even first half. Star added another seven-pointer before the break and another try straight after to lead 19-7.
Star co-coach Chris McIlwrick said his team made hard work of the win.
“Blues did well to hang in there with their inexperienced tight five. They capitalised
on our mistakes, and our poor clearance kicks with their speed out wide.’’
Star centre Alex Thrupp scored three tries and Brad Armstrong made some good breaks. Thrupp chopped down Blues danger men Kelepi Holi and Brad Kooman most of the time.
Star’s tight forwards Chris Apoua, Greg Pleasants-Tate and Tim Yaxley played well, as did loose forward Jordan Stewart, who was keen for his 50th game to be played on the home ground rather than for it to be shifted to Centrepoint Park.
McIlwrick said it was harder for players and supporters to congregate after the match if it was played at Centrepoint. have to drive 15 minutes back to the clubrooms, opposition players and most supporters generally just go straight home.
This Saturday, Star will take on Woodlands at Waverly Park. Woodlands looks unstoppable after scoring 61 unanswered points against Pirates Old Boys last week.
If Midlands and Te Anau can win their respective games on Saturday they will meet in the Ack Soper Shield division one final on August 15.
Midlands plays Wyndham in Winton, while Te Anau hosts Edendale. Edendale is still in with a chance of making the final, the Magpies took the Wallis Shield from Waikaka last week with a 25-13 win.
Midlands beat Riversdale 20-19 last weekend after leading 17-7 at half-time. Early in the second half, Midlands had a man sent off and soon after the resumption a tackle went wrong and legs were lifted well above the horizontal.
Riversdale scored the next two tries and led 19-17 with 20 minutes to play. The locals regained the lead with a penalty goal before Riversdale missed a shot at goal.
In the division two Gerald Dermody Shield, Pioneer extended its lead on the points table after beating second-placed Tokanui 22-19. Mossburn beat Albion 31-7 and is second equal with Tokanui and Waikiwi.
Drummond Limehills Star can move into second in the CJ Soper Trophy if it can beat Bluff at Limehills. Bluff leads ahead of Waiau Star.
Premier Grade: Galbraith Shield Rd 8: Marist 21 Eastern Northern Barbarians 17, Woodlands 61 Pirates Old Boys 0, Star 31 Blues 14.
Division One: Ack Soper Shield: Edendale 25 Waikaka 13, Wyndham 15 Te Anau 28, Midlands 20 Riversdale 19.
Gerald Dermody Shield: Waikiwi 41 Wakatipu 17, Pioneer 22 Tokanui 19, Mossburn 31 Albion 7.
Division Two: CJ Soper Trophy: Pioneer B 27 Bluff 45, Waiau Star 37 Star B 22, Blues B 5 DLS 61.
Life Members’ Trophy: Woodlands B 36 Bush Pirates 0, Midlands B 25 Collegiate 39, Marist B 34 POB B 0.
Premier Grade: Galbraith Shield Rd 8: Blues v Marist, Pirates Old Boys v Eastern Northern Barbarians, Star v Woodlands.
Division One: Ack Soper Shield: Midlands v Wyndham, Riversdale v Waikaka, Te Anau v Edendale.
Gerald Dermody Shield: Waikiwi v Mossburn, Wakatipu v Tokanui, Albion v Pioneer.
Division Two: CJ Soper Trophy: Blues B v Waiau Star, DLS v Bluff at Limehills. Star B v Pioneer B.