Sth Canty claim Lochore Cup
Final score: 17-10JACOB PAGE
South Canterbury has ended its trophy drought in Heartland rugby with a 17-10 Lochore Cup final win over Buller at Timaru's Alpine Energy Stadium this afternoon.
After three failed attempts to win the trophy, including a loss to Buller in last year's final, South Canterbury scrapped their way to an ugly win for their first piece of silverware in the competition.
The win, which was the first over Buller since 2002, was set up by a dominant forward display and fullback Liam Edwards, who scored all 17 points.
The home team made a mess of Buller's scrum and lineout at every opportunity.
An early try from the competition's leading points scorer, Edwards, from a cross-kick had the home team off to the best possible start in the 10th minute.
South Canterbury's ball handling was good early on as they played into a strong northerly breeze in the first half.
They had two tries disallowed in the opening quarter, with obstruction and a slight knock-on thwarting them on each occasion.
A 53m kick, with the help of the wind, from Buller fullback William Saukuru narrowed the gap to two points, but South Canterbury continued to control territory.
Buller made South Canterbury pay for not making the most of their dominance when second five-eighth Penijamini Nabainivalu scored in the final play of the first half to give the visitors a 10-5 advantage. However, Edwards soon had the home team back in front with two penalties straight after the break.
The second was a 57m effort with the breeze at his back.
Buller turned down shots at goal from a handy distance much like South Canterbury did in the first half.
South Canterbury continued to win the battle in the forwards but were unable to land the killer blow.
Buller did well to stay in the match and while their backs looked threatening, their lineout struggled, turning the ball over seven times.
Despite only kicking four from eight for the match, Edwards landed a crucial penalty with two minutes to play to secure the victory.
- © Fairfax NZ News