Southland scored six tries during their 49-14 ITM Cup victory against Manawatu at Rugby Park in Invercargill on Saturday night.
A 73rd minute conversion from Scott Eade sealed the victory for the home team but the result was probably a foregone conclusion before the half-time intermission, after Southland raced a commanding 22-7 lead, thanks in part to early tries from Mike Molloy, Tim Boys and Lima Sopoaga, who also made a significant contribution with the boot during the first stanza.
When referee Nick Briant blew the whistle for half-time, all Manawatu had to show for their efforts was a 19th minute try from Heiden Bedwell.
Despite the changes made by Manawatu during the second half, the visitors were not able offer any resistance to what was a rampant Southland outfit.
Willis Halaholo added to the Southland tally in the 49th minute and his try was converted by the reliable Sopoaga. The Southland pivot added three more to the scoreboard shortly after that, before crossing the whitewash himself in the 58th minute.
At this juncture the writing was on the wall for the visiting team, which could only respond with a try from Rob Foreman late in the encounter.
Tauasosi Tuimavave hit the final nail into the Manawatu coffin with eight minutes to play, concluding what was an emphatic performance by a team rewarded for its aggression.
Tries: Molloy, Moffat, Halaholo, Sopoaga, Boys, Tuimavave
Cons: Sopoaga 4, Eade
Pens: Sopoaga 3
Tries: Bedwell, Foreman
Cons: Black 2
Southland: 15 Tauasosi Tuimavave, 14 Mike Molloy, 13 Kieran Moffat, 12 Willis Halaholo, 11 Lolohea Loco, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Liam Howley, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 Tim Boys, 6 Bill Fukofuka, 5 Joel Everson, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Guy Millar, 2 Brayden Mitchell, 1 Jamie Mackintosh
Replacements: 16 Dillan Halaholo, 17 Reuben Northover, 18 Morgan Mitchell, 19 Michael Stewart, 20 Alex Taylor, 21 Scott Eade, 22 James Schrader, 23 Junior Ngaluafe
Manawatu: 15 Semisi Masirewa, 14 Ambrose Curtis, 13 Jason Emery, 12 Hamish Northcott, 11 Nathan Tudreu, 10 Otere Black, 9 Toby Morland, 8 Antonio Kirikiri, 7 Callum Gibbins, 6 Heiden Bedwell, 5 Valentino Mapapalangi, 4 Fraser Stone, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Nick Grogan, 1 Fraser Armstrong
Replacements: 16 Rob Foreman, 17 Hakarangi Tichborne, 18 Tim Cadwallader, 19 Tom Parsons, 20 James Oliver, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Jaxon Tagavaitau, 23 Newton Tudreu
Referee: Nick Briant