Results 26th June
Premier beat Harbour 14-9
Seniors beat Toko 58-0
Prem Dev v bye
Colts on Uni Hols
Premier Match Report (Courtesy of the ODT)
One step forward. One step down … deep down.
Ankle deep mud does not make for great rugby.
But it did produce a tense melee at Bathgate Park, from which Southern emerged a 14-9 victor against Harbour.
The win has helped strengthen Southern’s claim to a playoffs spot and weakened the Hawks’ prospects.
The game fell into an obvious pattern. Each side played for territory and waited for opportunities to kick penalties.
The Hawks lost a major piece in the early exchanges.
Powerful loose forward Sione Misiloi picked up a head knock from the very first collision of the game.
Veteran Southern prop Hisa Sasagi was lured out of retirement this season after answering an SOS from Otago.
He put in a very solid 50-minute shift and had a hand in the only try of the game.
However, his return to blue and gold may be in doubt after he picked up what is understood to be a fractured cheek bone.
Halfback Wilson Driver skipped over from the base of a dominant scrum.
The sides traded penalties and Southern went into the break with a 8-3 lead.
The Hawks responded with two penalties to impressive first-five Joshua Robertson-Weepu to take the lead.
But Southern maintained an edge up front and spent more time in Harbour’s 22 than its own.
The penalties came — two of them — and that was enough to clinch the win.
It was a day when you wore your workload and Southern No 8 Mika Mafi was muddier than anyone else except perhaps his opposite, Charles Elton, who had a very solid game in his second match back after a long injury break.
Green Island 35 Kaikoari 12
University 38 Alhambra-Union 10
Taieri 22 Dunedin 3