Invercargill's Storm Uru and Aucklander Peter Taylor have claimed bronze in the lightweight men's double on the final day of rowing at the London Olympics.
Uru and Taylor were a comfortable third behind the winning crew from Denmark, with the Great Britain crew, who suffered a mechanical which forced the race to be restarted, finishing runner-up.
A Southlander had never won an Olympic medal before the London Games, but now the province can lay claim to two medals thanks to Uru and Nathan Cohen, who won, along with Joseph Sullivan, New Zealand's first gold of the 2012 Olympics on Thursday night when they took out the men's double sculls.
Division one rugby final:
Edendale won the division one final against Drummond Limehills Star 21-5 on Saturday. Edendale started the game as warm favourites, but the DLS team were right in this match until the 75th minute when wing Vaughan Webber pulled in an intercept and ran 80 metres to score a converted try to seal the win.
During the physical demanding first 30 minutes both teams turned down shots at goal in attempt to score a five pointer, but both defences held strong, and there was plenty of turnovers at the ruck from both sides. Edendale halfback Shannon Gutsell nipped around the side of the ruck to score a converted try on the stroke of halftime.
Ten minutes into the second half prop Casey McEwan scored a converted try. Five minutes later wing Nathan Milne charged down a kick from his opposite then regathered to score. DLS attacking raids looked likely but the Edendale defenders excelled out holding the ball-runners up and effecting numerous turnovers.
DLS held their own in the set piece and had a slight advantage in the possession and territory stakes. They also kept pace with the magpies in general play but lacked the finesse to score when required. Halfback Richie Alison had a terrific game, but the DLS punting - or lack there-of, and their line out throws often let them down.
This was the third straight Division One Final Edendale has made, and were desperate to finish the job. Matt Medly was again an inspirational leader this season, but he and his fellow loosies Nathan Gutsell and Brad Whyte were fully tested by the DLS trio of Greg Laughton, Jesse Saunders and Grayson Hamilton.
First XV rugby:
Southland Boys' High's chances of making the Highlanders-wide First XV rugby final suffered a huge dent today when they were beaten 23-20 by Waitaki Boys' High at Les George Oval.
Otago Boys' High sealed a spot in the final with an emphatic 50-nil victory over King's High School in Dunedin.
In middle four section games, St Kevin's got the better of Gore High 26-7, while Dunstan High overcame South Otago 17-7.
Menzies College strung together one of their best performances of the season to thump Kavanagh College 47-10, while winless James Hargest College had their moments, before losing to John McGlashan 31-18.
There was no shortage of excitement in the opening round of the Charity Cup men's knockout competition with Queens Park and Thistle playing out a 12 goal thriller that went to extra-time.
Queens Park were all over Thistle midway through the first half, leading 3-1, courtesy of goals to Mark Pearson, Matt Burgess and Tobi Reid. Thistle finished the first half the stronger of the two sides, though, to take a 4-3 lead into halftime. Thistle's usual goal-keeper, Paul Monteith, starred in his new-found role of striker, netting a first half hat-trick, while Karl Hawkes also scored from the penalty spot.
Queens Park levelled in the 15th minute of the second half after Corey Johnson knocked the ball into the goal from a Pearson cross.
That is the way it remained after 90 minutes, with the teams going into 30 minutes of extra-time. Queens Park scored an early goal through a Pearson header to put them up 5-4, but Thistle replied straight back with a Daniel Ashby strike.
It was only in the final five minutes of extra-time that Queens Park confirmed the result with Reid and Burgess both adding second goals to make it 7-5.The Old Boys 'B' team beat Waihopai 4-1 in the earlier game of the day with Jordan Anderson shining with two goals in the win.
Winton FC produced something of an upset in the other first round cup fixture beating Southend United 4-3.
Donald Gray Cup champions, Old Boys, were awarded a first round bye and progress straight through to the semi-finals.
Rata and St Mary's will meet in the final of the Invercargill Netball Centre premier competition next Saturday, after they won their semi-final match-ups today.
Led by classy midcourters Hayley Crofts and Kendall McMinn, Rata beat defending champions Collegiate 30-18. St Mary's jumped out to a 12 goal halftime lead against Southland Girls' High, and survived a spirited second half fightback from the students to win 32-25.
Division two club rugby
Bluff and Wyndham will lock horns in next Saturday's division two rugby final after impressive semifinal
Bluff did a Goliath act on the hapless Midlands visitors with a 47-7 walloping at the Port ground.
A young and spirited Wyndham team blew Blues away in the first half to lay the foundation for a 26-17
Bluff ran in seven tries to one against Midlands, the marked difference being the size and strength
overall of the Bluff juggernaut which ran rampant from the kick off and outmuscled its rivals.
The writing was on the wall for Midlands when Bluff tight forwards Heath Lawson and Jack Kini powered
over the first few minutes.
Bluff kept the foot on the throat of Midlands to lead 28-7 at halftime. From there on, it was a tough day
at the office for the Winton team.
Bluff manager Andrew Te Awhe, an outstanding Southland No 8 representative forward in his playing
days, said his team's triumph was "more than satisfactory as a Grand Final trial''.
"One thing to work on at training next week will be the need to concentrate for the whole 80 minutes.
We perhaps eased up a bit towards the end but the big lead might have caused that.''
Player-coach Jason Harrison was pleased with the commitment of his team that stuck to its game plan
by structuring go ahead ball and dictating terms with purposeful probes over the advantage line. In that
respect, his powerhouse performance at first five eighth was outstanding.
His strength and foot work proved a headache for Midlands defenders as he often committed two,
sometimes three, defenders, and creating space for his outsides.
Effective use of the inside channel was often gainfully employed by big one off Bluff runners with lock
Heath Lawson a shining example.
Inspirational Wyndham player-coach Davin Heaps was "absolutely rapt'' with the gutsy showing of his
young team that "dug very deep'' in outwitting a well organized Blues outfit.
Heaps said: "I was stripped but I didn't have to play because my boys on the paddock were playing so
well and I was particularly proud of them. I would be reluctant to sort out any special players because
this was a great team effort.''
Heaps and his manager Lyndon Dynes pointed out that their team had many young up and comers who
were effectively complemented by some valuable old hands.
The ability of the Wyndham team to engage fast and expansive ploys will provide Bluff, particularly its
big forwards, with an intriguing challenge in the eagerly-awaited Grand Final.
Bluff 47 bt Midlands 7
Wyndham 26 bt Blues 17
Invercargill's Natasha Hansen has finished 11th in the keirin in her Olympic debut in London this morning as the men's team pursuit squad added a bronze to the New Zealand medal haul.
Hansen faced a difficult first heat, sitting alongside world champions Anna Meares, of Australia, and Great Britain hero Victoria Pendleton.
The Southland rider finished third behind the pair to go into the repechage rounds where she was unable to qualify for the final.
In the ride off for places from seventh through to 12th Hansen attempted to ride from the back but got caught behind the wheel of Germany's Kristina Vogel.
Four years on, an Olympic bronze medal shone brighter for New Zealand's men's pursuit team.
Jesse Sergent, Sam Bewley and Marc Ryan stood on the Olympic podium for a second time, with Aaron Gate the sole newcomer, as they beat Russia by more than two seconds in the ride for third place today.
They joined Great Britain and Australia on the podium as God Save The Queen rang out for the umpteenth time in the past two days at the 6000-capacity Olympic velodrome; the hosts winning gold to deafening roars with another world record, 3min 51.659sec.
New Zealand earlier lost by 2sec to Australia, for the chance to ride off for gold, but had 0.8sec to spare on Russia which marked them down as bronze medal favourites.
And so it proved as they recovered from a small deficit at the halfway point to claim bronze in 3.55.952, to Russia's 3.58.282, in a repeat of the result at the world championships in April.
"In Beijing we weren't expected to get a medal and we knew we could. There was no expectation. This time around there was pressure and expectations from us and from the media; to come away with that added pressure it feels even better," Sergent said.
"For me and most of the team, being a little bit older you can soak it in a lot more. Even the medal ceremony, it's almost like in slow motion. Last time I was more Gatey's age and everything just happened. You forget things, almost, it's happening so fast. This time around it feels better; and yet for someone like Gatey I'm sure he's going to get more than another crack at an Olympic medal."
Sergent put in a huge shift in the middle stages after they trailed by a fraction of a second at the 2000m mark.
Having made his pro tour debut in the Giro d'Italia this year, the Feilding rider showed his class by doing two-and-a-half-laps at first wheel after Ryan made a strong start. At 3000m they had 0.5sec to spare.
"The plan was to do a double [lap] and the coach started walking the line so we knew whereabouts the Russians were. I suppose I just got my race head on and just wanted to race them and did 2-1/2, then in the end I just wanted to go to the line just to push them more and more," Sergent said.
Bewley, Gate and Sergent finished in a tight bunch, unlike the Australia ride when they strung out as they made a lofty bid to topple their higher-ranked rivals.
Westley Gough was the unlucky one of the five-man team today, having rode in the qualifying rounds. Aucklander Gate, just 21, replaced him for the rides against Australia and Russia and was basking in bronze.
"It wasn't a good feeling after that first ride but I knew I had what it took to step up again and we managed to deliver when it counted," Gate said.
"It's pretty cool. All the guys have been great and helped bring me up to where I am today. They all rode awesome and I delivered what I could."
The only one missing from Beijing was Hayden Roulston, now focusing on his road career in Europe.
It was New Zealand's sixth medal of these Games and a welcome first podium for cycling, after their narrow miss with Linda Villumsen's fourth in the road time trial.
Meanwhile, the New Zealand women's pursuit team need improvements after they qualified fifth fastest in their event.
The team of Alison Shanks, Lauren Ellis and Jaime Nielsen rode a time of 3.20.421 for the 3km, around 0.6sec slower than fourth-ranked Canada.
It means gold or silver is out of the question but they can still book a bronze medal ride if they can be among the fastest two losers in tomorrow's first round.
Great Britain were fastest qualifiers, also breaking the world record in a time of 3.15.669. The medal rides in the women's team pursuit are tomorrow.
- © Fairfax NZ News