Southern Region Rugby season kicks off

Hard fought . . . Clutha winger Robin Fesilafai scored two tries during his team’s away match against West Taieri on Saturday. PHOTO: ODT FILES


Clinton produced a dominant performance away from home to start their Southern Region Rugby season off on the right note at the weekend.

Clinton beat Owaka 36-17 on the road to lock away the Bill Mitchell Memorial Trophy for the first round.

Owaka’s discipline let it down frightfully in the first half, as Clinton roared out to a 19-3 lead, courtesy of a brace of tries to hooker Russell Moloney.

The second half mirrored the first in terms of discipline from the home side and a lopsided penalty count had three Owaka players sent to the sin-bin by the referee at different times.

A red card was also shown mid-way through the second half as one of the sin-binned Owaka players received his second yellow and an early shower.

Clinton went about its work and showed some real industry with ball in hand, scoring three second-half tries to blow the score out towards the end of the match.

The West Taieri Pigs opened their account in the first weekend of the season, beating Clutha 49-37 in a high-octane affair at Outram.

West Taieri controlled proceedings at the start of the match and its stunted preseason did not seem to affect it at all.

The Pigs recycled the ball well and played an up-tempo style of play which kept them on the front foot.

West Taieri went into halftime 22-13 ahead.

Clutha made some key changes at halftime and looked like a totally different side when the match resumed.

Clutha scored two tries in quick succession to take the lead, before West Taieri fought back and managed to hold on for the win.

Reigning champions Clutha Valley beat Lawrence 27-10 in their match played at Lawrence.

The first half was an intense battle which had some good moments but also plenty of errors and it took a while for both sides to wake up. Lawrence used its big ball runners to great effect, but they could not retain possession regularly enough to be dangerous. Valley went into halftime 10-5 ahead.

The halftime oranges gave life to the Clutha Valley side who came out firing in the second stanza. Valley enjoyed longer spells of possession and started to dominate the set piece.

Lawrence made Valley work hard for everything.

As the match progressed, Lawrence began to run out of steam and Valley took control of the half both in possession and on the scoreboard.

Heriot beat Crescent 27-14 in their match at Heriot.

The home side was ahead 19-0 at halftime after turning defence into attack several times throughout the half.

Crescent found its mojo in the second half with a brace of tries to flanker Nick McBride, but Heriot stayed ahead to wrap up maximum points for the match.

Clinton 36 (Russell Moloney 2, Josh Hurring, Mike Luxmoore, Aaron Lupton, Nick Anderson tries; Anderson 3 con) beat Owaka 17 (Fau Fotu, Asu Mati Nei tries; Josh Huddleston 2 con, 1 pen) HT 19-10

West Taieri 49 (Callum Smeaton 2, Jackson Reid, Jacob Walls, Penalty try, Steve Green tries; Smeaton 4 con, 3 pen) beat Clutha 37 (Robin Fesilafai 2, Pene Tevaga, Max Pennell, Tyler Haua, Sam Stratford tries; Stratford 3 con, 1 pen) HT 22-13

Clutha Valley 27 (Jordan Willocks, Eddie Teriuea, Logan Wilson, Damian Wilson, Reid Benge tries; Thomas Johnson 1 con) beat Lawrence 10 (Tyrone Goodlet, Bailey Kenny tries) HT 10-5

Heriot 27 (Clayton Buchanan 2, George Brenssell, Mark McKenzie tries; Logan Cornish 2 con, 1 pen) beat Crescent 14 (Nick McBride 2 tries; Luc Thomson 2 con) HT 19-0