Southern beat Pirates 31-3 in scrappy encounter

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The Premiers easily beat Pirates in the Jack Hore Memorial match on Saturday 31-3 played at Bathgate Park.

The Southern team showed patches of their potential when stringing multiple phases together, allowing space for the backs to attack. However credit must be given to Pirates for their determined defence, and disruption at the breakdown that didn’t allow Southern to flow as they would like. Questions could be asked about the offside line rulings, but the team needs to adapt tactics when they are being rushed in defence.

Highlander Ryan Tongia, playing at fullback, showed his skills in broken play, beating defenders easily to score 2 tries. Adam Knight at flank had a strong game and showed speed to score a try also from 30m out. The tight five worked hard and set a good scrum against a strong Pirates front row. There is plenty for the coaches to work on – with the lineout needing more work and the back combinations are still developing. However with 2 games played Southern sit at the top of the table with Taieri, with 2 wins and maximum bonus points for 4 plus tries in each game.

Due to Easter this weekend the Premiers will play Alhambra-Union on Thursday at Bathgate Park at 5.30pm. They then play Green Island on Monday at Miller Park at 2pm.

Otago Daily Times Report:
Southern got the bonus point and the win in a messy match against Pirates at Bathgate Park.

The home team could have expected to win easily but made hard work of it at times, in a game that did not have a lot of flow in it.

There was plenty of vigour from the Pirates forwards, who threw in the towel, especially around the breakdown.

Highlanders winger Ryan Tongia scored two tries for Southern _ giving him five in two matches _ and his second one, where he split the defence up the middle, got his side the bonus point near the end of the game. Tongia had scored the first try of the game and Southern led 17 0 at the break.

Adam Knight got through plenty of work in the Southern pack, and front rowers Warren Moffat and Cameron Keach were energetic.

Pirates props Craig Millar and Hisa Sasagi worked hard and got round the field and Josh Clark was tigerish in the loose.