Eade: 'Ugly' win still a win - bracing for Otago

SCOTT EADE
Last updated 05:00 29/08/2014

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OPINION: Despite the nail-biting finish many had to endure watching last week's match, the team was more than happy to come away from North Harbour with four competition points.

Despite conceding all our points in the first 12 minutes of each half, we were able to come back into the game and build enough pressure for Lima Sopoaga to kick goals from all over the field as well as score a well-constructed try by Willis Halaholo.

Even though we were far from happy with the overall performance, at the end of the day there is only one thing that matters: winning.

To be able to win away from home with a patchy performance gave the team plenty of confidence and self-belief: we can win ugly and get out of tough situations.

Part of winning means the guys get to sing the team song in the changing room after the game, something many of the team were beginning to really enjoy.

Although we were playing at the other end of the country, there were plenty of loud and proud Stags fans in the crowd at North Harbour.

It was so loud, in fact, that there was a Southland chant heard from the grandstand, led by the one and only godfather of Stags rugby, Leicester Rutledge.

Before we turned our focus to this weekend's big game against Otago, management gave the team the weekend off to recharge when we arrived back in Invercargill last Friday.

For some of the team it was a chance to have a well-earned break with their partners and children.

However, for several members of the team who don't have a better half, it was a chance to head to Queenstown to relax and get away from footy for a day or two.

Named the "Gentlemen's club", that group spent the night in Queenstown.

Led by the president of the Gentlemen's club Alex Taylor, and his deputy Morgan Mitchell, the singles enjoyed what the resort had to offer in terms of scenery, both on and off the mountains.

Heading into tomorrow's game, the guys are excited to get back out on to Rugby Park in front of a vocal home crowd.

Playing Otago is always one of the biggest games of the season and this weekend will be no different. As the current holders of the Donald Stuart trophy played for between the two teams, we will be doing everything we can to hold on to it.

So if you are free tomorrow, it would be great to see you there in force to cheer the guys on.

#Antlersup.

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- The Southland Times

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