Buller beats Sth Canty to win Lochore Cup
Buller has won their first piece of New Zealand provincial rugby silverware in their history with a stirring second half effort to down South Canterbury 31-28 to claim the Lochore Cup, in Westport this afternoon.
South Canterbury had the better of the first half but Buller stormed back to keep the visitors tryless until the last minute of the second half.
South Canterbury had the smallest of leads at halftime.
Right winger Liam Edwards scored two tries in the space of three minutes midway through the first half after The visitors had dominated territory and possession for much of the half.
Buller fed off some poor ball-handling and shaky South Canterbury line out.
Buller No 10 Marty Banks landed four penalties.
With halftime due, The home team struck a crucial blow when right winger Andrew Norton-Taylor scored under the posts from a quick tap.
The second half started disastrously for South Canterbury when no one wanted to defuse a high kick inside their own half.
The resulting bouncing ball was pounced on by Buller and second five-eighth Pene Nabainivalu cut through the retiring South Canterbury defence to score.
South Canterbury struggled to mount any pressure inside the Buller half, with the home team more aggressive at the breakdown and with the superior kicking game.
Buller hooker Iliasa Namua scored in the right corner after concerted pressure to extend the lead to 31-20 with 20 minutes to play, The home team had gained all the momentum.
South Canterbury threatened from deep in their own half late in the match, but link in play would go astray.
No 8 Kali Latu burrowed his way over to give his side a chance of victory in the last minute but it wasn't to be.
Buller 31 (Andrew Norton-Taylor, Pene Nabainivalu, Iliasa Namua tries; Marty Banks 4 pen, 2 con).
South Canterbury 28 (Liam Edwards 2, Kali Latu tries; Edwards 3 pen, 2 con) HT 19-20
The Timaru Herald