Planet Rugby

Last-gasp try saves Shield for Southland

13th August 2011 06:49

Share:

ITM Cup Rd 9  Southland v North Harbour 2011

Dramatic victory: Southland celebrate

Southland needed a try after the full-time hooter to snatch a 25-23 victory over North Harbour and retain the Ranfurly Shield in Invercargill on Saturday.

Scott Cowan scored with the last play of the game to level the scores before James Wilson's simple conversion secured the Stags' fourth win of the season.

North Harbour looked set to grab hold of the Log o' Wood for just the second time in the province's history as they put in one if their best performances of the season.

The visitors took a 20-7 half-time lead only to see Southland fight back, using the wind to their advantage in the soggy conditions.

Harbour were well worth their half-time lead despite conceding an early try when Southland wing Tom Cornforth touched down inside the opening two minutes at the end of a sweeping move.

Full-back Willie Walker was at the origin of Harbour's reply, setting up a try for James Parsons in the fifth minute.

North Harbour opted to largely keep the ball in hand and punished Southland's sloppy line-outs and poor defence as left wing David Raikuna scored from 70m out.

Ben Botica was accurate in his goalkicking all afternoon, landing five from five including an angled 50m penalty, and it was his boot that gave the visitors a healthy lead.

Cowan sparked the hosts' comeback soon after the restart when he wrestled his way over the line from close range.

Wilson landed two penalties to bring Southland with range. With Harbour winding down the clock, the Stags launched one final attack. A series of tapped penalties near the North Harbour line ended with replacement hooker Jason Rutledge diving towards the padding around the base of the goalpost.

Rutledge came up centimetres short but Cowan was on hand to force the ball, leaving referee Chris Pollock to award the try, Cowan's second for the game.

The scorers

For Southland:
Tries:Cornforth, Cowan 2
Cons: Wilson 2
Pens: Wilson 2

For North Harbour:
Tries: Parsons, Finau
Cons: Botica 2
Pens: Botica 3

Southland: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Kade Poki,13 Kendrick Lynn,12 Matt Saunders, 11 Tim Cornforth,10 James Wilson,9 Scott Cowan,8 Elliot Dixon/Tom Chamberlain,7 Tim Boys,6 John Hardie,5 Ben Nally,4 Josh Bekhuis,3 Nick Barrett,2 David Hall, 1 Jamie Mackintosh (c),
Replacements: 16 Jason Rutledge, 17 Chris King, 18 Michael Fatialofa, 19 Chamberlain/Dixon, 20 Sonny Rangitohereri, 21 Marty McKenzie, 22 Glen Horton, 23 Michael Peterson.

North Harbour: 15 Willie Walker, 14 Nafi Tuitavake,13 Rudi Wulf,12 Brendon Watt,11 David Raikuna, 10 Ben Botica, 9 Chris Smylie (c), 8 Mat Luamanu,7 Solomon King,6 Brent Wilson,5 Filo Paulo,4 Irwin Finau,3 Ben Afeaki,2 James Parsons, 1 James Afoa.
Replacments: 16 Michael Mayhew, 17 Alex Woonton, 18 Michael Farmer, 19 Sam Hayes-Stevenson, 20 Brenton Helleur, 21 Pita Ahki, 22 Ken Pisi, 23 Taione Vea.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
Sunday , April 27
Toulon vs Munster15:30
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs Edinburgh19:05
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
Sunday , April 27
Wasps vs Bath13:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs Stormers17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton 36 - 21 London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Report
Newcastle 18 - 23 SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Cardiff Blues 17 - 13 ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 10 - 20 Ospreys
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens2080
2Northampton2071
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058