Prop bags hat-trick in Woodlands' impressive Southland premier club rugby fightback
Cole Williams is the toast of the front rowers club at the moment after the Woodlands tighthead prop bagged a hat-trick of tries.
His three tries came in Woodlands' Southland premier club rugby win over the Eastern-Northern Barbarians in Gore on Saturday.
Woodlands beat defending champions the Barbarians 24-20 in a come from behind win which ended the Barbarians four season stretch with the AWS Legal Cup.
The Cup is up for grabs whenever the holders play at home.
Woodlands found themselves at 13-0 down after 20 minutes, which could have been even worse if the Barbarians were able to slot some shots at goal.
The Barbarians pushed out to 20-7 before Woodlands started to find their groove in impressive fashion.
Williams scored one of his tries in the first half and two more in the second half to propel Woodlands to victory.
The win was a fitting way for Woodlands to acknowledge one of the team's key figures, Dan Cavanagh, who was playing his 100th game for the club.
Woodlands now find themselves in good position to leap-frog either the Barbarians or Marist when the final round-robin round is played on Saturday.
In this year's playoff format the top two teams square-off for the direct route to the final.
The loser gets a second life and plays the winner of the third-versus-fourth playoff game for the other spot in the final.
At the moment Marist and the Barbarians sit one and two but do play each in the final round-robin game.
If Woodlands can knock over Star they are a good chance to push their way into the all-important second spot.
The 'Scruffy' Butt Memorial Shield and AWS Legal Cup will also be up for grabs in the Woodlands-Star fixture.
Marist just snuck away from Blues with a win on Saturday after Blues missed an ideal opportunity to claim a draw late in the fixture.
Marist won the game 31-29 but Blues dominated large chunks of the fixture.
Blues went out to a 10-0 lead early on before Marist took over late in the first half an eventually got out to a comfortable 31-10 lead.
However Blues stormed back into the game, and when Daniel Townson scored with about two minutes to play they got to within two points at 31-29.
It provided halfback Jay Renton with a chance to level the scores at 31-31 but he pushed it wide.
Renton otherwise had a strong game for Blues, with Ray Tatafu and Bill Fukofuka key figures up front.
For Marist No 8 Kaydis Hona continued his encouraging season.
Star made it three wins in a row with a 47-19 win over Pirates-Old Boys at the Les George Oval.
They scored three first half tries to Pedro Bezanilla , Mana Harrison, and Tepasu Thomas to lead 19-5 at halftime.
Flanker Jordan Stewart then chipped in with two tries in the space of 15 minutes as Star raced out to a 33-5 lead.
They scored a further two tries but didn't have it all their own way despite the 47-19 scoreline.
Pirates-Old Boys' task in the second half was made a little more difficult when flanker David Hall was yellow-carded for a ruck infringement.
Sitting at the bottom of the table and out of playoff contention, Pirates-Old Boys did play the game in good spirits opting to turn down a couple of kickable penalties early in the game.
Fullback Mike Molloy tried his best to inject himself into the game while No 8 Anton Huisman battled away all day.
It was a special game for Pirates-Old Boys lock Jimmy Affleck who brought up his 250th game for the club, the first Pirates-Old Boys player to do so.
While it was a convincing win, the Star camp will know they'll need to be better come playoff time with Saturday's game losing a bit of its structure.
Fullback Fale Iosefa continues to impress for Star while Jacob Stewart upfront was again good in Saturday's win.
Star 47 Pirates Old Boys 19;
Marist 31 Blues 29;
Woodlands 24 Eastern-Northern Barbarians 20;