Quarterfinals highlight tight competition
CLUB RUGBY: Division oneLOGAN SAVORY
A hat-trick of tries by Jeremy McLeod has propelled Edendale to the semifinal stage of Southland's division one club rugby competition.
The division one competition is one of the tightest and more competitive in many years and Saturday's quarterfinal results highlighted that.
It would take a special performance to be the difference and in Edendale's case one of their many backline stars provided that in terms of McLeod's trio of tries.
Mataura started the best and held a upper hand in territory and possession stakes for a good chunk of the game but they could not turn that into points where Edendale did.
While McLeod was Edendale's try-scoring star, Te Anau also had one in their quarterfinal game against fellow Northern Southland team Riversdale on Saturday in one of the other quarterfinal matchups.
Long-serving halfback Hisashi Cole proved the difference with his brace of tries leading Te Anau to a tight 18-13 victory over Riversdale in Te Anau.
Te Anau are now set up for a mouthwatering showdown with Bluff in one semifinal on Saturday.
Bluff highlighted to everyone just what they are capable of in quarterfinal action when they ran out convincing 42-13 winners over Tokanui.
Earlier in the season, Te Anau ran out 32-11 victors against Bluff but there is an expectation the semifinal in Te Anau on Saturday will be much closer.
In the other semifinal, Edendale will take on rivals and neighbours Wyndham on Saturday.
Wyndham was another team to impress in their quarterfinal win, beating Waikaka 24-7, with Waikaka's try a consolation one late in the game.
This is also expected to be a cracker, with Edendale winning just 18-17 in the earlier game played between the two teams this season.
- The Southland Times