Te Anau outmuscle Waikiwi for the win
Defending champions Te Anau have sounded a warning to their division one counterparts with a 56-33 win over Waikiwi.
Te Anau led by 18 after 20 minutes and 25-7 at halftime.
The local forward pack was completely dominant over its lightweight opponents.
Waikiwi conceded numerous tightheads and were also outmuscled at the breakdown.
Te Anau led 44-13 after 70 minutes before the game loosened up and Waikiwi finished well.
Coach Barry Taylor said "it was a good starting point for us; we scored eight tries but we leaked five".
Club juniors AJ Beatie and Isaac Wairau put in pleasing performances, and fullback Napoliani Serulele was at his dangerous best.
The Waikiwi backline performed admirably, with wing Matt Moynahan scoring a hat-trick.
Teenage halfback Vaughan McKay proved he will be a great asset this year, while lock Nick McLeary put in a solid 80 minutes.
Wyndham started favourites against Pioneer but the 82-point drubbing was a surprise.
The Wyndham backs scored 12 of the team's 14 tries, with wings Campbell Thompson and Phillip Norman combining for seven.
Midfielder Gerard Tree celebrated his long-awaited engagement with a double.
Wyndham led by 48 at halftime but, according to manager Lyndon Dynes, it was a tougher game than the scoreline indicates.
Mataura made a solid return to the competition with a 50-20 victory at Mossburn.
The visitors played into a strong wind in the first half, with dual try-scorer Paul Roberts and No 8 Harry Swain leading the way.
Trailing 13-10 at halftime, Mossburn were first to score after the break but Mataura made good use of the wind, and their ball-runners also found some space.
Fullback Khan Wilson was lethal on attack and defence, while Travis Milan made an impressive debut at first-five.
Mossburn's best were wing Stephen Jensen, halfback Hayden Ross and tight forwards Hamish Elder and Brendan Duthie.
Waikaka comfortably beat Drummond Limehills Star 33-12.
The local forward pack fronted up really well and built a 19-point lead at halftime.
Waikaka continued to recycle the ball quickly in the second half and DLS couldn't slow them down despite the best efforts of tireless loose forwards Jo McIlwrick and Glen Cunningham.
Waikaka hooker Marty O'Neil and blindside Tom Hewittson had storming games, while the Irish fullback Callum Rowden also impressed.
Coach Peter McIntosh was pleased with the performance.
"The set piece was really good. Perhaps we could have been leading by more at halftime if it wasn't for a few wrong options".
Edendale ventured over to Ohai Nightcaps and beat last year's second division champions 31-7.
The locals scored first through their standout midfielder Milton Helman.
Edendale slowly got on top and built a 19-7 lead at the break.
Prop Ziggy Marley and midfielder Jeremy McLeod had good all-round games but it was a scruffy bonus-point win, with three players spending time in the bin in the concluding stages.
In the southern derby, last year's finalists Bluff beat the new kids on the block Tokanui 50-17.
Bluff built a 12-point lead in the first 20 minutes and led 24-5 at halftime. Tokanui scored soon after halftime but their mistakes were soon capitalised on.
Bluff coach Jason Harrison said: "We stuck to our structure, kept it simple and eliminated errors".
Blindside Mark Flutey was great on defence, while centre Mana Harrison scored four tries and wing Lucas Pikia scored twice.
"Logan Deans and Spencer Marshall cornered our solid scrum but we were a bit short in the backs, and Bluff were too good," Tokanui coach Rata Smith said.
- The Southland Times