Come-from-behind win for SOHS

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Strong kicker . . . Ben Smart kept his team in the game with some fine kicking during the South Otago High School First XV?s first home ground game against Combined Co-Ed Schools last Saturday. PHOTO: KIMBERLY PHILLIPS

by JULES WITT

› SOHS First XV v Combined Co›Ed Schools
The South Otago High School’s First XV were looking forward to their first home game of the season last weekend. The SOHS Colts team also had a home game at the same time and the two games attracted a good turnout of families and supporters.
It was great to see some Crescent and Clutha premier players turn up to watch the matches as well.
SOHS got away to a slow start and Co›Ed scored within the first two minutes for a 7›0 lead. The SOHS players continued to make errors and put themselves under pressure. After working towards the halfway line in the 10th minute, SOHS captain Zayde Francis made a clean break and held off the defence to score a great individual try. It was converted by Ben Smart to tie the scores at 7›7.
Combined Co›Ed dominated for the remainder of the half, scoring two more converted tries and a penalty, which gave it a handy 24›7 lead at the 31 minute mark and left SOHS with a small mountain to climb to get back into the game.
A sweeping back›line move and great kick over the defence by Ryan Soper was pounced on by Lewis Hill in the 33rd minute. The conversion by Ben Smart brought the score to 24›14 just before halftime to give the SOHS team a much needed boost going into the break.
Minutes into the second half, Combined Co›Ed dotted down again and the kick over gave it a 31›14 lead with just 25 minutes left.

SOHS was not done yet and a well›taken try to Lachie Roy three minutes later closed the gap to 31›19.
With 11 minutes to go, SOHS was down to 14 players due to a yellow card but still worked its way into good field position and, after a number of drives for the line, Ben Witt scored in the 27th minute. Ben Smart continued his excellent kicking and converted it to bring the score to 31›26.
With the clock ticking down and only a minute to go, Kael Merrett scored a try to tie the scores at 31›31. This left Ben Smart a tough kick from about the 15m line to win the game. Ben calmly slotted the match› winning conversion for a final score of 33›31 — a second›half comeback for the second week in a row.
Player›of›the›day points were awarded to Kobe Thomson, Ben Witt and Fyn Edwards. Ben Smart and AJ Kell also played well and Callum Craik made a strong impact from the bench.