Premier & Division One Club Rugby
Woodlands and Marist will contest the 2014 Galbraith Shield final.
The two teams progressed to the final after banking semifinal wins at the Les George Oval today.
Marist and Star squared-off in the early semifinal game and Marist progressed with relative ease when they knocked last year’s beaten finalists from the competition.
Marist raced out to a 14-nil lead inside the first quarter to assert their dominance on the game.
Star did claw their way back with a couple of Tayler Adams penalties to make it 14-6 but Marist scored again before halftime to take a 21-6 lead into the break.
Adams kicked his third penalty to make it 21-9 but when Marist scored their third try of the afternoon to push the score out to 28-9 that ultimately was the killer blow to Star’s hopes.
Star did score a consolation try late in the game to make it 28-14 but the early semifinal was all about Marist.
The later semifinal was an entertaining 37-32 victory to top qualifiers Woodlands over Pirates-Old Boys.
Woodlands first five-eighth Richard Apanui and Pirates-Old Boys midfielder Craig Smith traded penalties early in the game, before Woodlands flanker Alex Taylor scored a try and the defending champs held a 13-12 lead at halftime.
A strong start to the second half seen Woodlands push out to a 30-15 lead midway through the first half.
Pirates-Old Boys responded with a try to bring it back to 30-20 but two further tries to Woodlands seen them stretch out a 37-20 lead.
The plucky Pirates-Old Boys team did score the final two tries of the game to bring it back to 37-32 but Woodlands had already done enough.
A hatrick of tries to Jeremy McLeod helped Edendale a 21-13 win over Mataura in one of the four division one quarterfinal games played today.
In the other quarterfinal games Te Anau beat Riversdale 18-13 on the back of two tries to halfback Hisashi Cole, Bluff was too good for Tokanui winning 42-13 and Wyndham beat Waikaka 24-7.
Marist 28, Star 14
Woodlands 37, Pirates-Old Boys 32
Wyndham 24, Waikaka 7
Bluff 42, Tokanui 13
Te Anau 18, Riversdale 13
Edendale 21, Mataura 13
Division Two Club Rugby
Southland-wide division two rugby action was reduced from six games to four because of defaults in both Championship and Plate sections today.
Albion Excelsior, with only two front rowers, was forced to default to championship leader Marist and Woodlands defaulted to Central Star Pirates because of a shortage of players in the Plate section.
Albion Excelsior could only muster 15 players with the coach Jason Webb thrown in. He hoped a home game next Saturday might result in the availability of more in the squad.
Blues served notice of its readiness for a virtual semi final against Riverton next Saturday with a convincing 31-5 defeat of Pirates Old Boys in division two championship table rugby action at Centrepoint Park near Invercargill today.
Blues ran in five tries (three converted) despite “feeding off scraps of possession” in the words of successful coach Simon Frisby, who said the team again spent much time on defence as it did the previous week.
PIrates Old Boys, in fact, was all over Blues in the opening stanzas today, but was unable to capitalize because of lack of composure and finish and some goal kicking woes in the first half when three relatively easy shots were muffed.
Blues weathered wave after wave of Pirates Old Boys assaults on its line, but defended tenaciously, gained structure and got its act together and scored two good tries from as many suitable opportunities to lead 14-5 at the interval.
Pirates Old Boys went off the boil and Blues rammed home its upper hand with three more second half tries for its runaway five tries to one success.
Blues would have plenty of work to do in the coming week, coach Frisby said, particularly in the discipline and break down areas. Two of its players were yellow carded.
Meanwhile Riverton enhanced its claims of meeting Marist in the championship final on August 2 with a sound 17-3 win over formidable visitors Collegiate. Riverton led 17-3 at halftime, the game rounded off with a scoreless second half for both teams.
Coach Steve McKay said Riverton’s ability to compile another team performance stood to it as has been the case throughout the championship competition. He nominated strong No 8 forward Ruben Hopcroft as a worthy Riverton Man of the Match.
Results of Southland-wide division two games played today were:
Blues 31 bt Pirates Old Boys 5
Riverton 17 bt Collegiate 3
Marist bt Albion Excelsior by default.
Midlands 34 bt Balfour Lumsden 3
Waiau Star 52 bt Wrights Bush 5
Central Pirates Star bt Woodlands by default