Southern overcame a spirited Zingari-Richmond side at Montecillo on Saturday – eventually winning 50-29, after being down 24-14 at halftime.
Both sides were strengthened by Highlander players after their Friday match against the Force. Zingari benefited from some excellent direction and running and passing threats from halfback Tenaka and first five Marty Banks, along with lively hooker Greg Pleasants-Tate. Southern stalwart Tei Walden played first five for the Magpies along with wing Ryan Tongia. Both contributed mightily to the Southern backline.
After shooting out to a 14-0 lead after 10 minutes, Zingari came firing back and scored 4 unanswered tries to lead 24-14 at halftime, and an upset seemed to be on the cards.
The second half belonged to Southern with a hat trick to Walden, and a brace to hard working flanker Adam Knight. The forwards got on the front foot with replacement props Junior Sala and Mike Mata’afa breaking the defence line with close quarter running, allowing the backs to find more space. The elusive Ryan Tongia got to show all his running skills in the 2nd half.
It was a good entertaining game of rugby with both defences looking a little brittle. Southern are one of only two teams being unbeaten after 2 matches (Taieri the other). The Premiers play University A at Bathgate Park this Saturday, it is our Club’s opening day, all teams play on Saturday.
Taieri beat University 27-10
Green Island beat Alhambra-Union 29-28
Kaikorai beat Dunedin 34-32
Harbour beat Pirates 45-24