Southland have made a confident start to their 2012 NPC campaign with a 38-nil preseason win over a shadow Canterbury team in Oamaru this afternoon.
While the Cantabrians fielded a young team with few recognisable names, the Stags will be pleased to have run in six tries despite the heavy conditions, as well keeping their opposition scoreless.
Mark Wells opened the scoring with a raid down the blindside in the first quarter after Southland had weathered an early storm by the Cantabrians.
The second try came from some excellent support play by veteran Hoani Macdonald after a break down the left hand flank by Tim Cornforth.
Some good work by the forwards allowed Jimmy Cowan to force his way over near the posts for a 19-nil lead at halftime.
While Micheal Peterson was on hand to finish off some good work by Cornforth and Matt Saunders just after the break, perhaps the best try of the afternoon belonged to replacement winger Junior Ngaluafe who showed great pace in the boggy conditions to sprint 70m and score.
Replacement prop Aston Talaia burrowed over close to the end to complete a good workout for the Stags, who take on Otago in a first class game in Balclutha next Friday before opening their campaign against Counties in Pukekohe on August 26.
Wells and Cornforth had some nice touches on attack for Southland, while Scott Eade and Marty McKenzie ran the backline well from first five and fullback, respectively.
Lock Alex Ryan was probably the pick of the Southland players, securing good ball in the middle of the lineout and getting around the pitch well.
Southland 38 (Mark Wells, Hoani Macdonald, Jimmy Cowan, Micheal Peterson, Junior Ngaluafe, AstonTalaia tries; Marty McKenzie four con)
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