ROUND five of the Southland Premier Club Rugby Competition was played last night; Pirates-Old Boys (POB) was the only unbeaten team going into last night’s games and was favoured to beat Blues at Les George Oval.
Star played Marist at Rugby Park in Invercargill while the Barbarians hosted Woodlands at the Gore Showgrounds.
Round four was played on a mild autumn Thursday evening before duck-shooting opening weekend. POB and Star won their games while the Woodlands and Blues match was cancelled due to Omicron restrictions.
POB earned a 33-26 victory over Marist at Rugby Park in Invercargill. Marist had only played one competition game due to Omicron and a bye but managed to start this match best. Making use of their territory gains and some poor discipline from POB, the Marist goal kicker Cullen Thompson landed three penalty goals.
After 20 minutes, POB managed to secure some possession and territory, and made perfect use of it when openside Dustin Coveney and fullback Kepu Suli scored back-to-back tries.
Marist kicked its fourth penalty goal before POB centre Isaac Te Tamaki scored his first try of the night. POB captain Greg Dyer was also striking the ball nicely, converting his team’s first three tries.
When Marist was piling the pressure on before half-time, it forced POB into repeated infringements which ended with a man being sent to the sin bin. POB’s defence was still able to hold on to its 21-12 lead before the break.
POB was first to score in the second spell after man of the match Jaye Thompson made an excellent break from inside his own 22m zone and then put his midfield mate Isaac Te Tamaki in for his second try of the night.
Marist finally crossed for its first try after 60 minutes and the conversion from the sideline closed the gap to seven points.
POB scored its fifth try of the night before Flynn Thomas’ try for Marist brought the margin back to seven points going into the final 10 minutes. Both teams had their opportunities in the closing stages but couldn’t break some desperate defence.
Southland Stags utility forward Ben Morris made an impressive debut for POB and fellow lock Jakob Harrex had another good game. Marist’s best was fullback Cullen Thompson, who scored 21 of his team’s 26 points.
Following on from this game at Rugby Park, it was time for the Midlands and Star match. Midlands again put up a good fight before tiring in the last 20 minutes to go down 43-5.
The Premier grade teams are back in action for round six this Saturday, as well as the division one and two grades. The veteran’s and women’s grades are also playing this weekend.