Planet Rugby

Southland do it again

23rd September 2010 10:55

Share:

Matt Berquist auckland v southland

Shield retained: Tenacious defence from the Stags once again

Southland defended the Ranfurly Shield for the sixth time this season after beating Auckland 9-6 in a hard fought ITM Cup battle at Rugby Park.

With the two best defences in the competition going head-to-head, it was a war of attrition as neither team was willing to give an inch, and it was reflected on the scoreboard with not a single try scored.

Instead it was Southland pivot Robbie Robinson who landed three penalties to Matt Berquist's two to clinch the win and retain the famous Log o' Wood for yet another week.

Remarkably it was 51 years to the day from the last time Auckland successfully challenged for the Ranfurly Shield against Southland, when Sir Fred Allen's team defeated the southerners 13-9 at Rugby Park in 1959.

But the crop of 2010 were unable to achieve the same feat as their predecessors as they fell just short.

Auckland ripped into their work with vigour from the offset, the forward pack muscling up supremely against the miserly Southland defence to dominate territory and possession.

Their quick ball and ability to build numerous phases produced plenty of opportunities for the backs as Berquist, Brent Ward and Dave Thomas in particular made searing breaks.

But a number of dropped passes and conceding a turnover at a crucial moment ruined any chances the visitors had of quelling the parochial Southland crowd as the home side capitalised on their only opportunity of the half to take a 3-0 lead after 30 minutes.

Auckland looked to have struck back five minutes from half-time as Onosa'i Auva'a burrowed over from close range. But the TMO adjudged the ball had been held up as a match-turning try went begging.

Auckland did however manage to get on the scoreboard on the stroke of half-time, Berquist landing a penalty from 35 metres out to tie the scores at 3-all at the break.

Berquist and Robinson both traded two early penalties before Southland began to find their rhythm and made good inroads in close against a tiring Auckland defence.

Robinson fluffed a kick at goal after 67 minutes, but two minutes later nailed a penalty from almost exactly the same spot to clinch what proved to be the match-winning kick.

Auckland rallied late in the match and once again found themselves in a prime position to crash over the try-line, but misdirected passes and composure at crucial times let Southland off the hook as the Ranfurly Shield remains in the deep south.

The scores:

For Southland:
Pens: Robinson 3

For Auckland:
Pens: Berquist

Southland: 15 Glen Horton, 14 Mark Wells, 13 Tony Koonwaiyou, 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 Brayden Mitchell, 17 Nick Barrett, 18 Alex Ryan, 19 Dion Bates, 20 Sony Rangitoheriri, 21 Seminar Manu, 22 Pehi Te Whare.

Auckland: 15 Brent Ward, 14 Dave Thomas, 13 Benson Stanley, 12 Jamie Helleur, 11 Chay Raui, 10 Matt Berquist, 9 Toby Morland, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Onosa'i Auva'a, 5 Andrew Van der Heijden, 4 Kurtis Haiu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 John Afoa.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Angus Ta'avao, 18 Liaki Moli, 19 Sean Polwart, 20 Brenton Helleur, 21 Gareth Anscombe, 22 Winston Stanley.

Referee: Vinny Munro

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411