WITH just two weeks of premier club rugby remaining before the Galbraith Shield finals, the unbeaten Pirates-Old Boys (POB) team requires just one more competition point to secure a home semi-final.
POB gets its chance at Surrey Park this Saturday against Woodlands.
Marist will start slight favourite against Blues at Les George Oval. Marist’s title hopes took a knock a fortnight ago when halfback Jay Renton dislocated his shoulder.
Star hosts the Eastern Northern Barbarians this Saturday; Star kept its finals chances alive by beating Blues 37-32 last week. Star’s field at Waverley Park resembled a mud pit so the game was played at Les George Oval. The dry conditions out near the beach enabled some high-scoring running rugby.
Star coach Chris McIlwrick said the pivotal moment of the game was just before half-time when Blues was leading 15-5 and looked certain to score again. Blues had a three-on-one overlap but Star blindside flanker Peti Lau’ese intercepted the last pass and set out on an 80m burst which resulted in Jack Capil scoring beside the posts.
“That was a 14-point try; if they had scored, we would have struggled to come back from there.’’
Star second five-eighth Micaiah Johnston-Brown was one of the best on show, and the goal-kicking from Ben Pope was excellent; Pope’s composure to put Star ahead 34-32 with a conversion from the side-line was followed up with a penalty goal. Replacement hooker Kaya Symon played well, Capil is in career-best form at lock and Jordy Stewart was again dominant with his ball-carrying.
Blues’ midfielder Kelepi Holi punched holes in Star’s defence, lock Jay Naqianivalu also impressed while the experienced Blues prop Michael Peterson was having his own way at scrum time.
Woodlands had a narrow 19-18 win on home turf against Marist, while further up the road at the Gore Showgrounds, the Eastern Northern Barbarians were beaten 37-19 by POB.
In the division one competition, the Midlands team suffered its second loss in a row, this time a 17-13 loss at Wyndham. Waikaka carried on its hot form with a 41-11 win over Edendale. This was Waikaka’s ninth win in a row since losing its opening game against Wyndham. Waikaka can stretch its lead on the ladder this Saturday with a win over bottom-placed Riversdale.
In the division two competition, Drummond-Limehills Star had a 24-nil win over Wakatipu in Frankton. Kurtis Smith scored two tries and Jimmy Johnstone had a good day off the tee. Man of the match was Kyle Sinclair with James Riordan also doing the hard graft. This Saturday is club day at Drummond with primary-aged games starting at 10am and the seniors playing Te Anau at 3pm. David Beer will be playing his 100th game for DLS, if he makes the 22
Saturday’s draw. All games 3pm unless stated:
Premier — Galbraith Shield: Star v Barbarians, Marist v Blues, POB v Woodlands.
Division one: Ack Soper Shield; Wyndham v Tokanui, Midlands v Edendale, Waikaka v Riversdale.
Gerald Dermody Shield: Albion v Mossburn, Mataura v Pioneer, Waikiwi v Collegiate.
Division two: CJ Soper Trophy; Star B v Wakatipu at 1.30pm, DLS v Te Anau at Drummond,Riverton v Bluff.
Life Members’ Trophy: Marist B v Blues B at 1.30pm, Waiau Star POB B.
Past Presidents Shield: Ohai Nightcaps Otautau v Woodlands B at Otautau, Bush Pirates v Balfour at Wrights Bush.
Results — Premier Grade: Galbraith Shield: Star 37 – Blues 32, Woodlands 19 – Marist 18, Pirates Old Boys 37 – E N Barbarians 19.
Division one: Ack Soper Shield; Wyndham 17 – Midlands 13, Tokanui 17 – RIversdale 12, Waikaka 41 – Edendale 11.
Gerald Dermody Shield: Collegiate 32 – Albion 31, Mossburn 28 – Mataura 7, Pioneer 40 – Waikiwi 28.
Division two: CJ Soper Trophy; Te Anau 60 – Bluff 33, Star 29 – Riverton 3, DLS 24 – Wakatipu 0.
Life Members’ Trophy: Blues 53 – Pirates Old Boys 23, Waiau Star vs Marist.
Past Presidents’ Shield: Bush Pirates 17 – Ohai Nightcaps Otautau 13, Balfour Lumsden 12 – Woodlands 8.