SOUTHLAND’S premier grade rugby teams played their fourth game in 15 days on Saturday.
The Pirates-Old Boys (POB) Hawks kept their unbeaten record intact by beating Star 26-9 at Waverly Park in Invercargill.
Star had the best of the early exchanges and after a long period on attack Star capitalised on a rising penalty count by kicking two penalty goals.
Jaye Thompson scored the game’s first converted try before Star landed its third penalty goal to reclaim the lead.
With five minutes left in the half, POB’s superior fitness paid dividends with Isaac Te Tamaki and captain Greg Dyer scoring tries to give Pirates a 19-9 lead at half-time.
Star started the second half best and dominated possession but the testing weather contributed to a high error rate.
POB had opportunities to score midway through the half but was not able to close the game out.
In the closing stages, Dyer crossed for his second try of the day and added the extras.
Hawks lock Ben Morris was named player of the day. Midfielder Materua Tupou made some good attacking runs, while halfback Nathan Johnston also impressed.
Marist had to work hard to beat Midlands 41-15 at Miller St, Invercargill.
Midlands put a lot of pressure on Marist in the first half, with first five-eighth TeHura Wilson and fullback Henry Earland both punting accurately.
At half-time, Midlands was trailing 15-8 and was right in hunt for its first win of the season.
Marist managed to hold on to more possession in the second half and put enough phases together to tire out the visitors.
Midlands showed a great attitude on defence, led by openside flanker Joe Robbins. Second five-eighth Logan Nicholson broke the line on multiple occasions.
Blues beat the Eastern Northern Barbarians 35-22 at Balmoral Dr, Invercargill.
This Saturday, Woodlands is holding its Club Day, hosting Star in the final game of the first round.
The Eastern Northern Barbarians play Marist at the Gore Showgrounds, while POB plays Midlands at Surrey Park, Invercargill.
Premier Grade round 6: Blues 35 EN Barbarians 22, Star 9 Pirates-Old Boys 26, Marist 41 Midlands 15, Woodlands a bye.
Division One round 3: Tokanui 5 Edendale 9, DLS 7 Mataura 31, Wyndham 19 Waikaka-Riversdale 8, Pioneer 0 Albion 62, Waikiwi 3 Te Anau 12.
Division Two round 3: Bush Pirates 17 Bluff 22, Waiau Star 20 Collegiate 12, Balfour 10 Mossburn 43, Ohai Nightcaps Otautau 20 Riverton 18.
Division Two B round 3: Blues B 19 Wakatipu B 10, Star B 22 POB B 12, Marist B 43 Midlands B 16, Woodlands B a bye.
Women round 3: Pioneer 32 Albion 15, Marist 29 Midlands 10, Blues 19 Wakatipu 10.
Premier Grade round 6: EN Barbarians v Marist, Pirates Old Boys v Midlands, Woodlands v Star, Blues a bye.
Division One round 4: Te Anau v Waikaka-Riversdale, Mataura v Edendale, Tokanui v Wyndham, Pioneer v DLS, Albion v Waikiwi.
Division Two round 4: Bush Pirates v Waiau Star at Wrights Bush, Collegiate v Bluff, Riverton v Balfour, Mossburn v Ohai Nightcaps Otautau.
Division Two B round 4: Wakatipu B v Marist B, Woodlands B v Star B, POB B v Midlands B, Blues B a bye.
Women round 4: Pioneer v Blues on Saturday 1pm, Albion v Midlands on Sunday 1pm, Wakatipu v Marist on Sunday 1pm.