Sports Roundup

Southland Stags

The Southland Stags have had a successful first hit out against North Otago, winning 55-9 in Oamaru.

Southland scored nine tries to none, with Elliot Dixon, Marty McKenzie, Willis Halaholo, Talemaitoga Tuapati (2), Naulia Dawai, Warrick Lynn, Hale T-Pole and David Hall all dotting down.

Eade and McKenzie shared the kicking duties combining for five conversions from nine attempts.

The Stags take on Otago in Gore on Friday from 2.30pm in their final preseason game.

They open their campaign at home against Tasman on August 17.

Division one club rugby semifinals

By John Langford

Te Anau and Bluff will contest the Division One final next week, after top-qualifiers Te Anau were too strong for Drummond Limehills Star 54-5, and Bluff accounted for Riversdale 22-12 in the other semifinal.

The Bluff and Riversdale match was an even contest with Bluff out-scoring Riversdale by three tries to two.

Bluff lead 12-7 at halftime and 15-12 with 15 minutes remaining.

In Te Anau, Ray Hemi's converted try made it 20-nil midway through the first half.

A try to DLS lock Willy Hewittson gave the visitors some temporary hope, before Luke Barker scored his second try and fellow outside back Craig Sutherland also dotted down to make it 32-5 at halftime.

Te Anau kept their momentum going after the break with a penalty goal by Napoli Seru and a long range converted try to Neumea Bari.

DLS then had a good period of play but the Te Anau defence was too good.

The locals then finished strongly with tries to Cam Gray and the well performed Greg Tyler.

Waikaka won the Plate final over their Waikiwi visitors 49-29.

Waikaka were hot favourites for this match after being unbeaten in their four matches in the plate competition.

The locals were leading 27-12 at halftime and each side scored three tries in the second half.

Club rugby league grand final

By Nathan Burdon

A dominant display by He Tauaa has seen them win the Southland district rugby league title after a 56-10 win over Cooks at Rugby Park this afternoon.

Still smarting from last year's golden point loss to Cooks in the final, He Tauaa made a strong start to today's final and then never allowed their opponents to recover.

Nick Ah Kuohi scored four tries for He Tauaa, while Javaan Fa'amoe Ioane was presented with the Jesse Wharepapa best and fairest trophy after an outstanding display on attack and defence.

He Tauaa 56 (Nick Ah Kuoi 4, Pua Kuresa, Byron Curtis, Lucas Pikia, Javaan Fa'amoe Ioane, Casey Cummings, Willy Pera tries; Jayleel Fa'amoe Ioane 6 con, Curtis 2 con)

Cooks (Lucas Pohoiwi, Manuel Edwards tries; Tihema Brown con)

HT: 20-4

Club football wrap

By Stu Munro

Southend United are Southland Football's Donald Gray cup Premier champions for 2013.

Winning the title was significant for Southend as they were the wooden-spooners in their 2012 campaign.

Southend took a while to increase their early 1-nil lead in the final game played at Bain Park but once the second goal came, after an hour's play, they dominated proceedings from then on.

Their cause was aided by the sending off of two Waihopai players, but the Southend unit who had led the competition from day one invited some ill-timed tackles from their opponents by the way they played assuredly and with pace.

James McFelin netted Southend's first goal for a half time 1-nil lead. Kyle Schins doubled the score at the hour mark before Kurt Knarston and Mike Sheridan completed the score line.

Queens Park finished a point in arrears of Southend United with a convincing 5-0 win over Gore Wanderers.

Matty Burgess capped his stellar season scoring all 5 goals.

Old Boys reversed last week's loss to Thistle and took out their game 3-nil with goals from Atain Halley 2 and Danny Rosel.

In the Football South premier league Old Boys dropped to ninth of the 10 teams when they were beaten 3-1 by Green Island.

Bara'a Toubat scored Old Boys goal.

Queenstown Rovers moved ahead of Old Boys with a 3-1 win over Grants Braes.

Donald Gray final points: Southend 39, Queens Park 38, Waihopai 22, Old Boys 19, Gore 7, Thistle 5.

Southland division two club rugby final

By Don Wright

A committed and gutsy Ohai Nightcaps dug deepest to down favourites Albion Excelsior 23-19 in a classic confrontation to win the Southland-wide division two rugby Grand Final at the Gore Showgrounds today.

Albion Excelsior was going for an unbeaten 16 from 16 grand slam but found the rugged and determined challengers too much in a thrilling contest that went down to the wire.

Gutted Excelsior captain Shanon Robinson sportingly conceded that Ohai Nightcaps deserved its win.

"They wanted it more than's as simple as that. It is something of a heartbreak to come this far and get knocked over at the end. Still, we've got the fans back and all isn't lost.''

Both teams scored three tries. The winners landed two penalties and a conversion and Excelsior two conversions.

Referee Mike Taylor said it was an "outstanding final, and certainly the most wonderful game I have controlled.''

Tireless Ohai Nightcaps blindside flanker Sean Excell crashed over at the end of an overlap to post the winning try nine minutes from the end.

Albion Excelsior launched several menacing late assaults but Ohai Nightcaps were not to be denied.

Rugby Southland president Donald Hay, himself a distinguished Southland representative, lauded both teams for their outstanding display which confirmed country rugby in Southland was alive and prospering.

Ohai Nightcaps 23 (Sean Excell, Willie Broughton and Brayden Cochrane tries; Daniel Low con, 2 pens) bt
Albion Excelsior 19 (Shanon Robinson 2, Keith Eade tries; Eade 2 cons)

Halftime: Excelsior 12-11

New Zealand cross country championships

Gore's Ricky Gutsell has finished third in the men's 50-54 section of the New Zealand cross country championships staged in Hamilton's Minogue Park today

STILL TO COME: Southland men's and women's club hockey finals.

The Southland Times