SOUTH OTAGO RUGBY CORRESPONDENT
Toko has responded perfectly to its loss last weekend with a 47-31 win over Clutha Valley in their match played at Milton. The first half was extremely lopsided in terms of territory, possession and penalties which saw Toko head into the break with a whopping 40-5 lead. The second half saw Valley get the rub of the green and it managed to look after possession.
With the penalty count in their favour in the second spell, Valley scored four tries, but could not close the imposing gap created in the first half. Toko played intelligent, direct rugby as it excelled at the basics which set the tone.
Clinton has beaten Crescent for the first time since 2015 to cement its standing inside the top four after four weeks of the Southern Region Rugby competition. The home side won the match 28-26 after being ahead 18-14 at halftime. Crescent opened the scoring early in the first half before Clinton hit back with three tries before halftime, two to rampaging hooker Russell Moloney. Clinton’s young and fearless forward pack set the platform for the match and was dominant in patches over its more experienced opposition. A second half debut double to Crescent winger Jonty Sopp was not enough to give his side the victory as Crescent paid the price for handling errors and poor discipline at ruck time.
Heriot is the only unbeaten team left in the competition after securing a hard-fought 19-18 win over West Taieri at Heriot. West Taieri crossed the chalk inside 10 minutes in what was a fairly sluggish start from both sides. This try turned the match up a gear and it became extremely physical and intense. Heriot led 15-12 at halftime before West Taieri took the lead with 15 minutes left on the clock thanks to winger Hayden Ross’ second try of the match. Both sides had opportunities from there, but staunch defence kept the scoreboard stagnant.
Heriot attacked with vigour towards the end of the match and was awarded a penalty on fulltime which first five Logan Cornish happily kicked over the dot to give his side the win.
Owaka has picked up its first win of the season with a confidence-boosting 29-12 win over Lawrence at Swamp Hen Park. The first half was a tight, physical battle in which both teams scored one try each to go into halftime tied at 5-5. Owaka took control of the second half on the back of a strong scrum and some heavy carries into contact. Owaka’s ball runners made plenty of metres and they found space out wide on plenty of occasions.
Toko 47 (Kieran O’Sullivan x2, Mikal Tuari, Damon Clement, Nic Shaw, Dylan Greer, Kieran Calteaux tries; Jacky Scott 6 con) beat Clutha Valley 31(Lachlan Roy, Damian Wilson, Jaxon Evans, Conrad Williams, Maurice Tairua tries; Brayden Wilson 3 con) HT 40-5
Clinton 28 (Russell Moloney x2, Callum Maze, Ben Witt tries; Nick Anderson 1 con, 1 pen; Witt 1 pen) beat Crescent 26 (Jonty Sopp x2, Gene McHardy, Aydan Edwards tries; Luc Thomson 3 con) HT 18-14
Heriot 18 (Cam Morris, Mark McKenzie tries; Logan Cornish 1 con, 2 pen) beat West Taieri 17 (Hayden Ross x2, Isaac Timoko tries; Jake Hamer 1con) HT 15-12
Owaka 29 (Leslie Alauni x2, Chris Preddy, Asu Mati Nei, Jeremy Gray tries; Gray 2 con) beat Lawrence 12 (Bailey Kenny, Regan Potter tries; Logan Bain 1 con) HT 5-5