Southland Country and Canterbury Country undergo tight tussle at Wyndham

Southland Country rugby lock Brenton Howden tackled by Canterbury Country's Willy Kerr during the rugby fixture played ...
John Hawkins

Southland Country rugby lock Brenton Howden tackled by Canterbury Country's Willy Kerr during the rugby fixture played at Wyndham on Saturday.

Nothing could separate Southland Country and Canterbury Country on Saturday as the two teams scrapped out a 28-28 draw in the annual showdown played at Wyndham.

The two teams scored four converted tries each as they traded tries right through out the game.

They scored two tries each in the first half to go into the break at 14-14 and scored a further two second half tries to make it 28-28.

Southland Country did find themselves hot on attack late in the fixture and looked a good chance to snatch a win.

They had a penalty advantage in close range but pushed for a try and eventually were held up over the line. By that stage that penalty advantage had disappeared.

READ MORE: Country teams battle it out in Wyndham

From the 5m scrum Southland were penalised and Canterbury Country were able to relieve some of the pressure.

Southland Country's chance of pushing on to a victory in the second half was provided a big setback when frontrower Rory McCall was sent from the field for foul play reducing the home team to 14 players with about 30 minutes to play.

The draw means holders Canterbury Country retain the Farmers Cup which was up for grabs.

For Southland Country, young halfback Alex Chapman was probably the best on display on Saturday.

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Chapman had an impressive season for Mossburn this year in division two action and that has now continued onto the representative season.

The forward pack as a whole was good for Southland Country with hard-working openside flanker Lachie McCall leading the way.

Fullback Mike Robinson's four from four with the boot was also important in ensuring Southland picked up the draw.

While coach Mark Hourston was hopeful to claim a win he was generally happy with the showing at Wyndham.

"We couldn't really ask for much more than that," he said.

Hourston said the Wyndham Rugby Club were great hosts on Saturday.

That is the final game for Southland Country this season although some players will line up for the Southland B team in their South Island Invitational competition fixtures.

 

 - Stuff

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