Cup stays put for another year

RACHEL ASKEW
Last updated 14:27 05/06/2014
topp cup
JOE ALLISON
TOP EFFORT: Topp Cup rugby tournament between Southern Otago and Central Otago, held at Ranfurly.

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It was southern whitewash at the 101st annual Topp Cup clash over the weekend.

A highlight of the Clutha sporting calendar, this year the tournament was played at Ranfurly where the premier Southern region team defended last year's title beating the Central region 31-22.

In the development match Southern won 36 -13 against Central, in the under 16 grade Southern held on to win 22-21, in the under 14 grade it was Southern 27-7 and in the under 13 grade it was Southern 27-17.

Premier coach, former player and Clinton coach Jimmy Kenny was thrilled with the win.

"It was a pretty hard game and pretty close for most of it."

The Southern boys led 23-9 at halftime with a good try before the whistle but Central came back, he said.

Lance Taylor from Lawrence, who played at halfback kicked well, getting all but one attempt through the posts, Kenny said.

In the end, Southern held on to claim victory, meaning they retained the Topp Cup for another year.

Kenny was particularly pleased with the win given they were missing quite a few players from last year, when they beat Central 38-12.

He described it as a young team and said the experience of captain Blake Korteweg at first-five was well-needed.

The 25-strong squad was made up of the top players from different clubs throughout the district with 22 players selected for the day.

Kenny and assistant coach Paul Nigel Glynn put part of the team's success down to how well the Southern players meshed especially as they only held two training sessions in the run-up to the clash, he said.

"They get on pretty well as a team."

Next year the Topp Cup would be played somewhere in the southern region but in the meantime the district's clubs would enjoy passing the trophy around between them, Kenny said.

"It was just great to retain the cup."

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- The Southland Times

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