Plenty of positives in last-minute loss
South Canterbury had a solid hit-out in their 27-26 loss to Ellesmere subunions in Dunsandel yesterday.
Ellesmere snatched victory in the dying seconds but more importantly for South Canterbury it gave coach Chester Scott a chance to test out some of his fringe players for the 2014 Heartland campaign.
All 24 who travelled got a decent chunk of game time and Scott was happy with what he saw.
"It was a really, really good hit-out and everyone stepped up. The game was pretty much as I expected with no real surprises."
Scott said his squad realised there was a lot of work ahead.
Star performers were halfback Theo Davidson, prop Matt Fetu and open side Nick Strachan.
Scott said Davidson in particular had an outstanding game. He was pleased lock Tui Tauelangi lasted the full 80 minutes on his return to representative rugby.
"Matt Stewart also went well in the lineouts and around the paddock."
Scott said young Temuka fullback Joshua Palmer also got the opportunity to show his pace.
"Everyone stepped up which is important."
For South Canterbury Doug Hill, Kurt Rooney and Maile I'Ongi scored tries, with Davidson landing two penalties and a conversion, while Jarred Trevathan also kicked a penalty goal.
Scott will name his Heartland squad after the club grand final and they will face warm-up games against Mid-Canterbury on August 9 and Nelson Bays a week later, before opening the campaign against Wanganui in Timaru on August 23.
- The Timaru Herald