Collegiate need to hit target in split competition
CLUB RUGBY: Division 2NATHAN BURDON
Collegiate are in the market for a goal kicker as Southland's second division club rugby gets ready to split into two competitions this weekend.
The competition will separate into championship and plate divisions in the next round, although the top six and bottom six teams had already been decided before this weekend, meaning Saturday's games were effectivley all dead rubbers.
The Invercargill team scored seven tries against Woodlands on Saturday, but could convert only two of them, coach Joe Koroiadi said.
Collegiate won the game 39-19 after leading 22-12 at halftime.
The chief destroyer was Hayden Haggerty, whose three runaway tries helped set up the win for Collegiate.
"We scored a couple of tries and then Woodlands came back in the first half with a couple, which put us under pressure," Koroaidi said.
Home team Waiau Star conceded an early try to Central Pirates-Star in cold but clear conditions, but managed to recover for a 20-10 win.
Manager Aaron Chaliss said it was a good win in tough conditions.
"It was a tough game, a lot of niggle and a lot of mistakes by both teams. There were a few casualties and it was hard to get going."
Captain and No 8 Jimmy Dennison was amongst the best for Waiau Star, while first-five Simon van Dam ran the backline well for the home team.
Albion Excelsior trailed Wrights Bush 14-10 at halftime but were able to lift their game in the second half and return home with a 24-14 win.
Coach Jason Webb was especially pleased with four young players getting their first taste of division two rugby - No 8 Cody Sayer, flanker Chris Ponga, hooker Dion McGuigan and lock Jake Morgan.
"It was a bit of a struggle but we got there, it was a great game actually," Webb said.
Midlands travelled out to Northern Southland and scored the first try of the game on the way to a 41-19 win over Balfour-Lumsden.
Marist and traditional rivals Blues met at Centrepoint, with Marist taking a 27-5 win.
Marist coach Nathan Burgess felt the score probably flattered his team in a game which was a good spectacle.
"From a personal point of view it was probably our best performance of the season," he said.
It was close encounter between Pirates-Old Boys and Riverton at Surrey Park, with the two teams locked together at 3-all at halftime.
Riverton took the game 11-3, thanks mainly to the game's only try to an ageless Rodney Lonneker with some superb support work.
Pirates-Old Boys hammered away at the Riverton tryline in the closing stages for the win, but Riverton sealed victory with a late penalty goal.
Pirates-Old Boys 3, Riverton 11; Marist 27, Blues 5; Balfour/Lumsden 19, Midlands 41; Wrights Bush 14, Albion Excelsior 24; Collegiate 39, Woodlands 19; Waiau Star 20, Central Pirates 10.
- The Southland Times