THE first phase of Southland club rugby will come to its conclusion on Saturday after each of the seven premier teams has played its sixth game.
The competitions will then have their pre-planned restructuring for the second half of the season. The competition points in the premier grade will be replaced with a fresh points system which has the leader taking 10 points into the next round, the second team will start on eight points, the third team on six points and so on.
Pirates Old Boys has won all five of its games and cannot be overtaken even if it loses to Invercargill Blues at Balmoral Dr on Saturday.
Eastern Northern Barbarians and Woodlands have plenty to play for at Balfour while Star hosts Marist. Star needs the win for morale but it won’t improve its position from sixth.
Midlands has already lost to the six top clubs and has a bye this weekend. Midlands will drop to division one for the second half of the season.
Last Saturday, Marist beat the Eastern Northern Barbarians 33-25.
The Babaas were coming off a big win over Star, but Marist was determined to put in a good performance and earn a much-needed win.
Due to the heavy rain during the week, the game was moved to the Les George Oval to give the Marist field at Miller St a break ahead of the club’s centenary in a fortnight.
The Barbarians led 13-7 at half-time and extended that lead after the break with a converted try. Marist then held on to possession and, for the first time this season, strung together multiple phases which enabled it to score the next four tries.
Marist coach Marty Smith said the Babaas played well. forwards rolled their sleeves but they also put it through the hands and used the wide channels.
No 8 Ben Fotheringham and blindside Flynn Thomas led the Marist forward pack and they all followed. The Marist scrum and lineout operated well, with tighthead prop Reuben Northover making a big impact in his comeback game.
Marist centre Tevita Latu and wing Curtis Tarrant impressed onlookers, while Scott Eade’s punting was also of huge benefit keeping the Babaas dangerous rolling maul out of Marist territory.
Smith also had high praise for Jeremy Boyle. a good job at first-five until he got a yellow card, then when he came back on he scored a try on the wing, he’s a great asset to our team.
In the other two games, Woodlands put in an improved performance to beat Invercargill Blues 24-22, while Pirates Old Boys kept its unbeaten record by dealing to Midlands 71-12 at Surrey Park. Star had a bye.
In the division one competition headline match, Wyndham beat near neighbour Edendale 21-18. Michael Robinson had the last say with a clutch drop goal in the 80th minute to take the win and the Wallis Shield in the process.
In the division two competition, Drummond Limehills Star posted a 100-7 win over Ohai Nightcaps-Otautau.
Results – Premier: Woodlands 24 – Blues 22, Pirates Old Boys 71 – Midlands 12, Marist 33 – E N Barbarians 25, Star a bye.
Division 1: Mossburn 53 – Collegiate 19, Riversdale 46 – Waikiwi 14, Waikaka 26 – Te Anau 7, Tokanui 29 – Albion 28, Mataura 28 – Pioneer 25, Wyndham 21 – Edendale 18.
Division 2: Waiau Star 15 – Riverton 10, Bluff 29 – Balfour/Lumsden 19, DLS 100 – Ohai Nightcaps Otautau 7, Blues 24 – Woodlands 3, Wakatipu 28 – Marist 11, Bush Pirates 12 – Star B 67, POB B v Bye.
Saturday’s draw. All games 3pm unless stated:
Premier – Galbraith Shield: Blues v POB, Barbarians v Woodlands, Star v Marist, Midlands a bye.
Division one: Pool A: Riversdale v Waikaka, Te Anau v Mossburn, Collegiate v Waikiwi.
Pool B: Tokanui v Wyndham, Edendale v Mataura, Pioneer v Albion.
Division two: Pool A: Balfour v Riverton, Bush Pirates v Bluff. DLS a bye.
Pool B: Star B v Marist B, Wakatipu v Woodlands B, Blues B v POB B. Games at 1.30pm.
Women: Pioneer v Blues, 1.30pm Saturday, Albion v Wakatipu, 1pm Sunday. Marist a bye.