The South Canterbury under-16 rugby side made a promising start to their South Island tournament by beating Buller 53-0 at Logan Park in Dunedin yesterday.
Despite frequent changes being made to give everyone in the squad a run, it did not disrupt South Canterbury's fluency as they scored eight well-deserved tries.
While Buller were perhaps not as strong as some teams they will meet over the next few days, it was nevertheless a dominating performance by South Canterbury, who are beginning to find space and control play.
In pre-tournament warmup games, their backline has not run on to the ball at pace and have generally lacked penetration.
Yesterday they showed their ability to use the full width of the field and run straight, frequently puncturing Buller's backline.
Atu Monufetoa was particularly dangerous with ball in hand.
Marc Rooney at fullback was again strong on defence and Conor Scott at halfback continues to impress with his all-round game.
The forward pack, ably led by Liam Cosgrove, gained valuable metres with one-off runs around the ruck and maul.
Luke Cody, Tom Prayoonyuang and Caleb Lightfoot showed their experience and strength at this level.
Co-coach Richie Bradley said: "It was a pleasing performance. We were good at our set pieces and the backs ran with improved confidence to create space."
South Canterbury'stries were scored by David Fotofili, Luke Cody, Conor Scott, James Wilson Bishop, Matt McKenzie, Marc Rooney, Atu Monufetoa and Liam Cosgrove. James Hawkey landed five conversions and a penalty.
- The Timaru Herald