WOODLANDS appeared to have assembled an unbeatable squad for Southland’s 2020 premier club rugby competition, but last Wednesday night the team was tripped up by the Eastern Northern Barbarians.
However, the team regathered its form for the Saturday game and played with more intensity on its home ground against Star to win 34-5.
This Saturday, Woodlands hosts Marist in the fifth and final game of the first round of the Galbraith Shield competition.
Marist has a two win and two loss record, with its latest effort a 41-26 win over Blues.
Another important game this Saturday is at Waverly Park with Star hosting Pirates Old Boys (POB). The winner will take second spot on the competition ladder, provided Marist does not upset Woodlands.
POB supporters are anticipating the return of former Southland Stags utility back Mike Molloy.
Star is expecting to have its rollicking loose forward, Jordan Stewart, back in business after he missed his team’s loss to Woodlands.
Blues will start as the slight favourite against Eastern Northern Barbarians on Club Day at Balmoral Dr, in Invercargill, on Saturday.
The Barbarians had a taxing week last week. Without a lot of depth in the squad, the Baabaas struggled to back-up against POB, which won 39-14 at the Gore Showgrounds.
POB co-coach Ben McHugh said it was a “bloody good win”.
“We’re building quite nice, we’ve got some good battlers in the forwards and bloody good backline. We are defending really well this season, and we’re able to shut them down.”
The Hawks had three punters carving off 60 metres which demoralised the Barbarians. First five-eighth Greg Dyer and left footer midfielder Jaye Thompson were equally effective when running the ball which kept the Baabaas guessing.
Hooker Josh Harwood was man of the match, fellow youngster Josh Wilcox excelled in the loose, alongside No 8 Hayden Hagerty.
Hawks was the fitter team and had the luxury of rotating players who had been bruised in the midweek game. The Hawks have benefitted from having fitness trainer Jason Price with them this season. Prior to the pandemic, Price was in Japan working with Steve Hansen’s Toyota team.
The Barbarians couldn’t muster the same intensity they brought to their win during the week. Utility forward Brenton Howden was the Barbarians’ to man’ on Saturday.
Midlands leads the Ack Soper Shield division one competition after earning an important 24-17 victory over Edendale. Midlands will start as favourite again this week in Winton against Waikaka.
Riversdale upset Wyndham 24-13 last week and will be back on its home ground against Te Anau.
Te Anau is in second position and is coming off a 20-10 win over Waikaka.
In the division two Gerald Dermody Shield competition, the Mossburn Stags sit on top. After beating Tokanui 17-9 last week Mossburn hosts Pioneer on Saturday.
Premier Grade: Galbraith Shield: Star v Pirates Old Boys, Woodlands v Marist, Blues v Eastern Northern Barbarians.
Division One: Ack Soper Shield Rd 4: Riversdale v Te Anau, Wyndham v Edendale, Midlands v Waikaka.
Gerald Dermody Shield: Albion v Wakatipu, Mossburn v Pioneer, Waikiwi v Tokanui.
Division Two: CJ Soper Trophy: DLS v Star B, Waiau Star v Pioneer B, Blues B v Bluff.
Life Members Trophy: Woodlands B v Marist B, Midlands B v POB B, Collegiate v Bush Pirates.
Women’s Division: Sunday 1pm: Pioneer v Marist, Albion v Blues.
ROUND FOUR RESULTS
Premier Grade: Galbraith Shield Rd 4: Barbarians 14 Pirates Old Boys 39, Marist 41 Blues 26, Woodlands 34 Star 5.
Division One: Ack Soper Shield Rd 4: Midlands 24 Edendale 17, Te Anau 20 Waikaka 10, Riversdale 24 Wyndham 13.
Gerald Dermody Shield: Mossburn 17 Tokanui 9, Waikiwi 26 Albion 0, Wakatipu 5 Pioneer 40.
Division Two: CJ Soper Trophy; DLS 7 Waiau Star 12, Star B 0 Bluff 29, Blues B 29 Pioneer B 12.