HE Tauaa took on University from Dunedin in the first game of a Southland/Otago premier
grade rugby league double header at the Elles Rd grounds in Invercargill last Saturday.
University had gone through the Otago section of the competition unbeaten, but suffered
their first defeat in the opening game of the Southland/Otago competition at the hands of the
He Tauaa had lost to South Pacific Raiders in their opener and both teams were keen to notch their first win in the combined competition.
University started with three quick, unanswered tries before He Tauaa crossed for their first try.
University hit back again after some bad handling from He Tauaa and were showing why they are the top team in Otago.
He Tauaa scored again just before half-time to trail 12-22 at the break.
He Tauaa looked like a different team in the second half. It was pretty much even on both sides, with the forwards leading the way and setting up play for the backs to do their thing.
The call went out for He Tauaa to dig deep and they did just that, closing the score to 28-32 after being down by 16 points.
With just over three minutes showing on the clock, He Tauaa mounted some strong play up the sideline and crossed over the line to score and win the game.
Final score: He Tauaa 34, University 32
In the second game of the day, Cowboys were up against South Pacific Raiders.
Both teams were coming off wins in the first round of the Southland/Otago competition.
Cowboys came out firing and got off to an early lead. The Raiders got a few combinations going, but just couldn’t finish off against a strong Cowboys’ defensive line.
The half-time score of 32-0 to Cowboys didn’t really indicate how tough this game was. It was a very physical first half, with some crunching tackles from both sides.
In the second half, Cowboys didn’t look like they were going to concede any points. But South Pacific Raiders lifted when one of their young players put his body on the line only to be knocked out cold.
However, their comeback was short-lived and Cowboys showed why they are unbeaten so far.
Final score: Cowboys 46, South Pacific Raiders 14
– Southland District Rugby League