Waikaka ends Bluff's unbeaten streak
Waikaka became the first team to claim a Bluff scalp this season with a 34-13 home win in division one club rugby on Saturday.
Waikaka scored first and led 19-10 at halftime, with No 8 Jono Townsend turning in a big performance for the home team against a Bluff team that had won seven games on the trot but was missing a couple of players who had been affected by the flu.
Both teams used the rolling maul to good effect but it was Waikaka's defence that won them the day, especially in the second half after they lost a man to the sinbin for persistent infringing.
Te Anau's James van Bohemen grabbed a hat-trick of tries for the home team in a 74-12 win over Ohai-Nightcaps.
Te Anau ran in 11 tries in an open game of rugby that included two tries to fullback Napolioni Serulele, who also added eight conversions and a penalty for a 21-point haul.
Te Anau coach Barry Taylor believes Seru has the ability to play representative rugby, although his fitness levels would take some time to get up to sort of standard which would interest the Stags.
Some helpful tips handed on by Woodlands premier coach Damien Pine after the two teams met in a crossover game have helped Te Anau to stucture their attack and defence and Saturday's game was their most clinical performance of the season, Taylor said.
Some of the elements Te Anau had been working on in recent weeks had been brought to Woodlands via Chiefs prop Jamie Mackintosh's involvement with the two-time Super Rugby champions.
"You can see why the premier teams are so good when they can tap into that sort of knowledge," he said.
Wyndham held on a close encounter against Riversdale, with two second half tries proving the difference. Trailing 5-3 to the visitors at halftime, Wyndham scored through No 8 Fraser Gibbon and fullback Tama Ward to just edge ahead.
The Tokanui forward pack locked up the ball and made life difficult for Pioneer in a 31-12 win in Gore. Pioneer had their chances, but a lack of possesion and the experience of the visitors was too much for the home side.
Waikiwi came back from 8-0 down at halftime to nearly snatch victory at home against Mataura.
With about five minutes left in the game Waikiwi kicked a penalty to lead 15-13, but Mataura kicked a game-winning penalty about three minutes from time.
Flanker Sam Milne was impressive for the home team, along with prop Andrew Horton, who played three-quarters of a game for the club's B team and then stepped up for the seniors.
Triton Bain and Ryan Munro also played well in a beaten team.
Edendale looked like they might run out the big winners over DLS before the home team came back to score the final two tries.
Edendale's impressive defence was a factor in the 49-12 win, with halfback Gregory Banks and the Edendale front row in good form.
In another fixture rescheduled because of the test in Dunedin, Edendale will take on Pioneer in Gore on Thursday night.
Wyndham 13, Riversdale 12; Pioneer 12, Tokanui 31; Waikaka 34, Bluff 13; DLS 12, Edendale 49; Te Anau 74, Ohai-Nightcaps 12; Waikiwi 13, Mataura 15.
The Southland Times