Good second half gives Southern a big win over Pirates

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Southern beat Pirates 62-11 in the Jack Hore Memorial match on Saturday at a bitterly cold Hancock Park.

With Highlanders prop Craig Miller leading the charge, Pirates came out fired up and it took it to the Southern forwards, who took sometime to take control. Pirates led early with a try and penalty, and with Southern missing some key players including their captain Adam Knight (who had been rested by Otago), there was a slight panic that our close neighbours could pull an upset out of the bag. Southern however managed 3 tries late in the half to lead at half time 19-11. 

In the second half the Pirates resistance dissipated, and a further 8 tries were scored by the Magpies. Josh Ioane had the kicking duties when Bryce Hosie went off in the first half and he finished with 5 conversions along with a try.

The game allowed the coaches to give some reserve and fringe players good game time, and also players from the Colts their premier debuts. One of the Colts to impress was Mackenzie Haugh who played on the wing and he set up a try with a great long pass while also scoring one himself with a great step and speed to the corner.

Key players Josh Walden, Josh Ioane were the standouts for the backs, with Josh Buchan showing his flair from fullback and Hemaua Samasoni looking more confident in midfield.

Ryan Thompson continues to have a great season and commanded the lineout and his high work rate around the field was impressive. Junior Sala enjoyed his start at No 8, and was constantly gaining the hard yards with his barnstorming runs. Mike Mata’afa also made good runs while Ryan Kiely is a showing he is a very mobile hooker.

The bonus point win has got the team no closer to 3rd or 4th spot with Kaikorai and Dunedin continuing to win also. As mentioned previously the play off spots probably won’t be decided until the last week. Southern have a tough battle with 2nd placed Harbour at Bathgate Park which could determine if we stay in the hunt.

Summary of other matches (ODT):   
University stretched its lead at the top of the standings with a 26-22 win over Harbour.
It is 10 points clear of its nearest rival and on a 12-game winning-streak.
Kaikorai brushed aside Zingari-Richmond 60-22 thanks to some fine back play and smart use of the wind.
Green Island’s slim semifinal prospects were snuffed out by Taieri as the Eels won 30-6.
Dunedin beat Alhambra-Union 48-32 and remains in fourth place. Southern smashed Pirates 62-11 but is still three points outside the top four.