Star's winning streak surprises some fans

LOGAN SAVORY
Last updated 05:00 03/05/2014

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Star have surprised some by being the only unbeaten team after five rounds of Southland's premier club rugby competition.

The 2014 season had been touted as one where the Waverley Park-based club might struggle after the loss of some key players and question marks around the team's depth.

However, Star, coached by Craig Pullar, beat Woodlands, Eastern-Northern Barbarians and Blues in their first three outings before turning their sights on Marist in a game played at Rugby Park on Wednesday night.

Star and Marist went into the game as the only unbeaten teams and it was Star who prevailed 22-9 to ensure they sit on top of the table and win the AWS Cup, which is played on a challenge basis.

At Woodlands on Thursday night, Woodlands put behind a patchy start to the season behind them to book an impressive 35-5 win over Pirates-Old Boys.

Woodlands had leaked 30 points in the second half against Pirates-Old Boys last Saturday and went into Thursday night's game determined to bounce back.

They led 20-5 at halftime before scoring a further 15 unanswered points in the second half.

Pirates-Old Boys were not helped by ill-discipline, with hooker Talemaitoga Tuapati and Craig Smith both sinbinned for allegedly throwing punches.

The visitors had to play close to 10 minutes with just 13 players as a result.

In the third premier fixture played this week, the Eastern-Northern Barbarians easily dispatched the Blues 31-10 at Rugby Park.

Premier and division-two games were played at night during this week to allow players the opportunity to take in the opening day of duck-shooting season today.

Results through the first five rounds of the premier competition suggest it is a five-team race for the four semifinals spots as was the case last season.

Blues and Midlands again look to be a step below Star, Marist, Eastern-Northern Barbarians, Woodlands and Pirates-Old Boys.

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- The Southland Times

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