SOHS First XV kicks off season with a solid win

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Touchdown . . .SOHS lock Blake McDonald scoring the final try of the match untouched. PHOTO: LISA COWIE

By Jules Witt

The Otago Premier Schools Competition got underway for the South Otago High School

First XV with their opening match against the Combined Co-Ed team in Mosgiel last weekend.

The teams had played out a 14 all draw just a week earlier in a pre-season hit-out in Balclutha so a close game was expected in sunny but blustery conditions.

South Otago played into the wind in the first half and started with a hiss and a roar. The forwards hit the ball up strongly and the backs made plenty of metres with some slick passing and running.

South Otago dominated line outs with massive lifter, Tate Colley, putting both Blake McDonald and Lachie Shanks in great position to steal multiple opposition line outs. Along with a solid scrum, this gave SOHS a great platform to score a number of tries. The half finished with South Otago up 24-8.

SOHS continued where they left off in the second half with the first try just three minutes in. The game was controlled superbly by Ben Smart at first five and South Otago made the most of the wind advantage to get out of their half.

The tight five played particularly well throughout the game making good ground on attack and being strong on defence. Koen Robson put in a huge shift on both sides of the front row after playing a half for the 2nd XV in their earlier win against Taieri College.

Breaking through . . . South Otago High School First XV prop, Jomhel Gonzales makes another strong run through the Co-Ed defence with hooker Josiah Goodwin in support. PHOTO: LISA COWIE

The tries kept on coming at regular intervals throughout the half and the final score was 55-8 to South Otago.

The scoring was spread between the forwards and backs as follows: Tries – B Campbell, J Dent, J Flannery x2, B McDonald, B Smart, B Witt x3. Conversions – L Mosley conversion, B Smart x3 and B Witt.

Player of the day points went to Ben Smart, Ben Witt and Josiah Goodwin. The team will look forward to a big crowd coming along to their game this Saturday at home against Mount Aspiring College.