THE second phase of the Southland club rugby season got off to a good start at the weekend.
Star earned a rare win but faces unbeaten Pirates-Old Boys (POB) at Surrey Park on Saturday.
Blues has home ground advantage over Woodlands, while the Barbarians will be hoping the Marist club has a hangover from last weekend.
Most of the premier and division one teams played their games midweek while the Marist and Mossburn clubs were both celebrating their centennials during Queen’s Birthday weekend and played their games on Saturday.
In the Galbraith Shield competition, POB beat Marist 23-9 at Rugby Park. Marist brought intensity to the occasion but the Hawks were up to the challenge and produced some excellent defence to keep an unbeaten record intact this season.
Rain arrived just before kick-off; Marist played into the wind and opened scoring with a penalty goal.
The Hawks then patiently put some phases together and midfielder Jaye Thompson set up a try for wing Cory Hoffman-Grey. Greg Dyer converted the try from out wide and also landed two penalty goals in the first half.
The Hawks began the second half with a 13-6 lead and controlled possession and territory in the early stages. Marist then used the conditions to its advantage and spent most of the half on attack.
The Hawks’ defence only gave up three points and, with two minutes remaining, reinstated its lead with a penalty goal. In the last play of the game, replacement halfback Nathan Johnston capitalised on turnover possession and ran 30 metres to seal the victory with a converted try.
In a gutsy Hawks performance, flanker Ben Keenan was awarded man of the match.
The two other premier grade games were played on Thursday night. Star beat Woodlands 20-9 in perfect conditions at Les George Oval.
Star lock Jack Capil owned the lineouts, thanks in part to hooker Greg Pleasants-Tate’s lineout throwing being at his usual high standard. No 8 Jordan Stewart was the other standout player.
Woodlands has a lot of its best players unavailable until later in the season and is especially short in the backline.
Blues beat the Eastern Northern Barbarians 34-28 at the Gore Showgrounds.
Mossburn celebrated its centennial with a 48-nil win over Waikiwi on Saturday.
In the Ack Soper Shield competition, Waikaka beat Wyndham 19-10, Midlands beat Tokanui 24-14 and Edendale beat Riversdale 50-26.
There was only one division two game on Saturday,Waiau Star beat Ohai Nightcaps Otautau 30-3 in Tuatapere.
Saturday’s draw. All games at 3pm unless stated:
Premier: Galbraith Shield: POB v Star, Barbarians v Marist, Blues v Woodlands.
Division one: Ack Soper Shield: Edendale v Tokanui, Riversdale v Wyndham, Midlands v Waikaka.
Gerald Dermody Shield: Mataura v Collegiate, Pioneer v Mossburn, Waikiwi v Albion.
Division two: CJ Soper Trophy; Riverton v DLS, Bluff v Star B, Wakatipu v Te Anau.
Life Members’ Trophy: Blues B v Waiau Star, POB B v Marist B. Games at 1.30pm.
Past Presidents’ Shield: Ohai Nightcaps Otautau v Balfour, Bush Pirates v Woodlands B.
Women: 1pm Sunday: Blues v Albion, Pioneer v Marist. Wakatipu a bye.