Division one points table almost split in half

The division one competition points table almost split in half after the sixth round.

The top seven teams have put an eight-point break on the bottom six, who all suffered losses last weekend.

Even at this halfway stage of the competition the top teams must be thinking about earning the all-important home ground advantage for the finals.

Te Anau coach Barry Taylor knows how beneficial this is.

"Half the town turned out for our finals last season, but it is going to be hard to gain that advantage this year - with only getting to play each team once and us having away games to Wyndham, Bluff and Tokonui.

"These long hauls take a toll on the players' legs, and the extra couple of hours to get your work done before the game also makes for a more relaxed buildup to kickoff."

Riversdale have won three of their five matches this season and should be too good for their Pioneer visitors on Saturday.

Riversdale beat DLS 25-12 in an error-ridden match last week.

The northerners were so desperate to win that they were perhaps guilty of trying to shut the game down too soon.

Their big tight five and midfielders should be able to roll over Pioneer this weekend.

Tokanui have also won three of their five games, and with home ground advantage they are favoured to beat Drummond Limehills Star.

The DLS squad is filled with wiry lads with small frames and big engines.

The Smith twins aren't afraid to put their head down and take on allcomers.

Edendale will start favourites against Waikiwi, but they would be wise not to take the visitors lightly.

Waikiwi led Tokonui for most of the first half last week but a few missed tackles and mistakes through the middle stages let the southerners off the hook.

This was still Waikiwi's best performance of this season and with Adam Ronald striking form at first-five and Matt Keenan working hard at No 8, they could pose some problems for Edendale. The Magpies won 29-18 at Mataura last week.

Ohai-Nightcaps have put in some mixed performances this season; they will face another tough test when Waikaka arrive in town.

Waikaka had a confidence-boosting 58-point win over Mossburn last week, and once they shake off the effects of the long bus trip they should be able to get on top of the miners.

The Ohai boys will fight to the end though, and Waikaka better watch out for the local pin-up boy Ben Hunt, who is due another hat-trick of tries in the midfield.

Mossburn and Te Anau will also add another chapter to their long history, but this chapter is likely to be forgettable reading for Mossburn supporters.

The Bluff and Wyndham game is going to be played next Saturday.

This will be the only game of club rugby played on Queens Birthday Weekend - ensuring the spotlight will be firmly fixed on the port town as Bluff celebrate their 125th jubilee.

The Bluff team and supporters will also be available to partake in the Bluff Oyster and Food Festival this weekend.

The Southland Times