Refs blow fulltime whistle early in south

Both club games in Southland were called off early.

He Tauaa beat City-Invercargill 118-0 at the Elles Rd grounds in Invercargill.

City have struggled to field teams this season and yesterday had 11 players.

A full team is 13, while the minimum allowed on the field is nine.

With injuries to City players during yesterday's game, both teams and officials decided to end the game 20 minutes early.

City coach Bruce Williams said work commitments had made it difficult for players, but he had been let down by others.

"Some say they'll play and don't turn up," Williams said.

Meanwhile, referee Tim Kirikiri called off the Winton Warlords-Cowboys game 22 minutes early at Winton yesterday.

He was unavailable for comment last night, but The Southland Times understands he cut short the game because of a spectator's comment.

Cowboys won 42-10. Jeremy Borland, who coached Cowboys, said his team got better as the game unfolded.

"It was tough the first 20 [minutes]. Winton really took it to us but once we got through it, we got on top."

Second-rower Junior Toparea, prop Tuki Hiko and halfback Nathan Anderson had solid games for Cowboys.

City's player shortage problem and Kirikiri's decision to call off the Winton game early will be discussed at a meeting of league clubs and officials this week.

The Southland Times