Leaders Edendale flatten lacklustre DLS side
Division one competition leaders Edendale were expecting a tough challenge from second-placed DLS on Saturday, but they need not have worried, as the combined side put in a limp effort and were outplayed 46-3.
The first 10 minutes was one- way traffic as the fired-up Magpies ran through the lethargic DLS defence. Lock Karl Laurence was the first to score and first-five Jeroe Fodie the next.
Trailing 17-3 the visitors then settled into their work and had the best of the second quarter but the well-organised Edendale defence held their line.
DLS started the second half honestly but they lacked the firepower to burst through the composed defence. When a mistake happened after 55 minutes, Edendale took the ball straight down the other end and No 8 Brad Whyte scored from the ensuing scrum.
Then midfielder Dan Cockery left his opposites clutching at his yellow boots when he ran through to make it 29-3. Most of the DLS forwards were struggling for oxygen by the time replacement prop Casey McEwan scored. Tries to hooker Luke Muir and second-five Jeremy McLeod in the last five minutes completed the rout.
Halfback Shannon Gutsell made a nuisance of himself, and wing Braiden Mikkleson provided a great option with his towering left boot. Blindside Matt Medley, Muir, Fodie, flanker Nathan Gutsell and fullback Vaughan Webber all earned their coach's praise.
Referee Andrew Roland gained praise from both camps.
DLS lock Glen Cunningham and blindside Tom Wylie got stuck in, while halfback Richie Allison and wing Leon Olsen had their moments on attack.
Mataura kept their finals hopes alive with a 34-25 win over Waikiwi at Tulloch Park.
Waikiwi started the game well with the wind at their backs and led by a converted try after 15 minutes.
Waikiwi held a 15-12 lead at half time but their lack of depth was exposed in the second half and the favourites went on to win. Mataura paid full credit to Waikiwi for the gutsy attitude they showed with only 15 players available.
Front-rowers Michael Sheperd, Kyle McIntosh and Jono Steele all marked up well, and in the backs Matt and Chris Telfer put in top efforts and enjoyed the chance to tackle All Black Jimmy Cowan.
The full strength Mataura team were guilty of cruising for periods of this match - which won't be an option next week in their must-win game at Riversdale.
The highlight for Mataura was seeing Wiluke Pewhairangi and Rudolph Collins inducted as life members of the club for their services as both players and coaches.
Riversdale held their spot in the top four after beating the visiting Waikaka team 26-8. The locals applied pressure through their defence and when in possession they recycled the ball well and found holes in the Waikaka line. Riversdale led 19-3 at halftime and went on to get the bonus point soon after.
This was a solid win but Riversdale played too freely after the fourth try, and the handling errors crept in. Props Jo Moir and Alan Bain had high work rates for the victors. Waikaka did well to limit the scoring to just 7-5 in the second half, but felt they had dropped their standard of play from the previous three weeks. Their ball retention was poor and they could do little with the 25 per cent of possession they did earn. Gore High first IV captain Hayden Stephens was their best performer on the wing.
Te Anau played well against Waiau Star and were unlucky to lose in the final act of the game 32-27. With time up on the clock Te Anau looked set to score but the visitors turned the ball over - then spun it wide and went the length of the field to score themselves.
Waiau Star felt they didn't deserve the win after being outplayed in all aspects except the scrum. Teenagers Adam Charteris and McRae Sanderson have provided a solid alliance alongside veteran Jim Riley in the front row.
Loose forward Pete Copeland made his presence felt and second five Thomas Charteris ran and tackled strongly. Prop Henry Douglas and blindside Darren Jones were the best of the local pack, while first five Damian Barnes directed play well and midfielders Nepia Taurui and Dan Hall also had big games.
Division one: Edendale 44 (K Laurence, B Whyte, D Cockery, C McEwan, L Muir J McLeod, J Fodie tries; McLeod 3, Fodie con; McLeod pen ), DLS 3 (W Lake pen). Mataura 34 (H Roberts 2, J Heaps, R Burr, D Cowan, Q Mantell tries; J Cowan 2 con), Waikiwi 25 (M Telfer 2, T Bain tries; A Ronald 2 pen, 2 con). Riversdale 26 (A Shirley, A McCraw, J Moir, A Kimura tries; Kimura 3 con), Waikaka 8 (L Hamilton try; D Winsloe pen). Waiau Star 32 (J Dennison, M Egerton, J Ferris B de Vries tries, penalty try; de Vries 2 con, pen), Te Anau 27 (scorers unavailable)
The Southland Times