Planet Rugby

Stags retain Shield in style

10th September 2010 10:50

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Kane Thompson against North Harbour

Southland: Romps to ITM Cup win

Southland produced seven tries to beat North Harbour 47-21 and retain the Ranfurly Shield in Invercargill on Friday.

Harbour - attempting to win the Log o' Wood for only the second time - did not have the forward power to combat the Stags, who overwhelmed their visitors before a vocal home crowd.

It didn't take long for Southland to give their supporters something to cheer about after centre Matt Saunders brushed through five tackles to open the scoring in the third minute.

Harbour winger Nafi Tuitavake responded with a try fifteen minutes later, showing pace and evasion to touch down, however Southland bagged their second try from a turnover after the opposition were deep on attack.

Southland pivot Robbie Robinson hoofed the ball into open space deep in the Harbour 22, the chasers recycled possession and captain Jamie Mackintosh materialised on the wing to gather in the ball and touch down by the corner flag.

The Stags weren't done there though and extended their lead to 26-7 two minutes before half-time after an initial bust-out from centre Kendrick Lynn was finished by scrum-half Scott Cowan.

Southland began the second half in the same fashion they finished the first - with a try in the opening minutes. Full-back Glen Horton crossed just one minute after the restart, the try sparked by another sniping run from Lynn (26-7).

But North Harbour struck back six minutes into the half with an 80m try which began from turnover ball. Mike Harris received on halfway and outpaced the cover defence to touch down in the corner. Harris added the extras and Harbour were back in the game (26-14).

However, it wasn't too last very long after Southland crossed for try number five a few minutes later. It was that man Lynn again who spotted a gap before sprinting 30 metres to the posts from a standing start. Robinson converted and the Stags led 33-14.

The southerners scored twice more before the final whistle, Lynn again featuring with some intelligent passing as wing Tony Koonwaiyou dotted down.

Although Harbour pulled one back in the 79th minute through replacement prop James Afoa, they left themselves wide open in seeking the bonus try, and Lynn picked up his second try of the match in the final seconds of play.

The scorers:

For Southland:
Tries: Saunders, Mackintosh, Cowan, Horton, Lynn, 2, Koonwaiyou
Cons: Robinson 6

For North Harbour:
Tries: Tuitavake, Harris, Ravulo
Cons: Harris 3

Southland: 15 Glen Horton, 14 Tony Koonwaiyou, 13 Kendrick Lynn, 12 Matt Saunders, 11 James Paterson, 10 Robbie Robinson, 9 Scott Cowan, 8 Kane Thompson, 7 Tim Boys, 6 John Hardie, 5 Joe Tuineau, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Chris King, 2 Jason Rutledge, 1 Jamie Mackintosh (c).
Replacements: 16 Bayden Mitchell, 17 Michael Peterson, 18 Alex Ryan, 19 Dion Bate, 20 Sonny Rangitohereri, 21 Seminar Manu, 22 Mark Wells.

North Harbour: 15 Jack McPhee, 14 Alipate Fatafehi, 13 Jack Tarrant, 12 Luke McAlister, 11 Nafi Tuitavake, 10 Michael Harris, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Richard Mayhew, 7 Malakai Ravulo, 6 Matt Luamanu, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 James King, 3 Ben Afeaki, 2 James Parsons, 1 Michael Reid (c).
Replacements: 16 Mike Mayhew, 17 James Afoa, 18 William Whetton, 19 Scott Uren, 20 Nalu Tuigamala, 21 Ben Botica, 22 Brendon Watt.

Referee: Vinny Munro

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