Southland Country pull pin on semis

17:00, Sep 18 2013

Southland will not be represented in the South Island inter-provincial B rugby competition semifinals in Christchurch this weekend.

Southland Country pulled out on Tuesday night and Southland Metro have also decided they are not in the position to fill the gap.

A Southland-Otago provincial B series was played between Southland Country, Southland Metro, Otago Development and Otago Country with the top two teams to play leading Canterbury teams in South Island semifinals.

The Otago Development team was the top team and Southland Country and Southland Metro finished equal on six competition points.

Southland Country was given the nod because they won the round-robin game between the two teams.

However, after it was decided that Southland Country were struggling for players because of injury and unavailability they instead handed Southland Metro the option of making the trip to Christchurch.

After some ringing around Southland Metro officials also decided they too did not have the playing resources available.

Southland Country coach Jeff Clearwater acknowledged people would probably be annoyed that they had pulled out but said they were missing a large number of players and did not have others to call on that were up to the required standard.

"We lacked in the frontrow, among other things. We were a couple of backs short as well and it was going to be too big an ask to bring guys in that weren't even in the squad and had not played rugby for a long time."


The Southland Times