Planet Rugby

Southland keep Shield and go top

14th August 2010 08:25

Share:

John Hardie southland

Southland: Retain Ranfurly Shield

Southland held out a determined Counties-Manukau outfit to retain the Ranfurly Shield for the second week in a row, after beating their challengers 13-9 at Rugby Park on Saturday.

It was another closely contested match in the deep south, with the Stags having to dig deep once again to pull this one out of the bag having led Counties by just four points (7-3) at half-time.

Both sides threw everything at each other, and kept the Invercargill crowd on the edge of their seats throughout this even contest.

Veteran hooker Jason Rutledge scored the only try of the match in the first half as both defences proved to be too strong.

Robbie Robinson and Baden Kerr traded shots at goal but Southland's ability to starve the South Aucklanders of possession proved the difference.

Robinson had two penalty attempts at goal within the opening quarter, but missed on both occasions. Old-hand Rutledge finally broke the dead-lock for the Stags, going over the line for his 11th try at provincial level in the 27th minute.

The try came about after the Stags mauled the ball forward from a close line-out, and it was well-deserved after plenty of pressure from the home side. Robinson's conversion followed.

Each time Southland scored, the challengers bounced back through a penalty to Kerr but his three three-pointers weren't enough. They couldn't conjure the breakout tries that have marked their wins over Otago and Wellington in the first two rounds of the competition.

The Steelers showed signs of attacking spark but their hands let them down, errors costing both sides regularly.

Robinson restored the Stags' seven-point lead two-minutes into the second half, with a well-struck drop goal. The next passage of play saw both fly-halves trade penalties as the defence of both sides made tries seem unlikely.

The boot of Robinson and Kerr were the only points that came in the second half, as Southland held out several Steelers' attacks on their line and retained the Sheld.

The outcome of this clash of previously-unbeaten teams will see Southland leapfrog Counties Manukau to go top of the table provisionally.

Southland play their next three matches on the road, so the Shield stays in Invercargill for a few more weeks at least.

The scorers:

For Southland:
Try: Rutledge
Con: Robinson
Pen: Robinson
drop:Robinson

For Counties-Manukau:
Pens: Kerr 3

Southland: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Glen Horton, 13 Kendrick Lynn, 12 Matt Saunders, 11 James Paterson, 10 James Wilson, 9 Scott Cowan; 8 Kane Thompson, 7 Tim Boys, 6 John Hardie, 5 Alex Ryan, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Chris King, 2 Jason Rutledge, 1 Jamie MacKintosh (c).
Replacements: 16 Brayden Mitchell, 17 Nic Barrett, 18 Dion Bates, 19 Elliott Dixon, 20 Sonny Rangitoheriri, 21 Mark Wells, 22 Tony Koonwaiyou.

Counties-Manukau: 15 Tim Nanai-Williams, 14 Ahsee Tuala, 13 Siale Piutau, 12 Tana Umaga, 11 Sherwin Stowers, 10 Baden Kerr, 9 August Pulu; 8 Viliami Fihaki, 7 Pepa Koloamatangi, 6 Fritz Lee, 5 Jamie Chipman (c), 4 Taiasina Tuifua, 3 Jono Owen, 2 Grant Henson, 1 Simon Lemalu.
Replacements: 16 Mark Price, 17 Jeremiah Fatialofa, 18 Ronald Raaymakers, 19 Mark Selwyn, 20 Samisoni Fisilau, 21 Reynold Lee-Lo, 22 David Raikuna.

Referee: Garratt Williamson

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Scarlets vs LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Preview
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615