Three in a row for Clutha rugby

Clutha Leader - - HOUSE AND GARDEN - RUGBY COR­RE­SPON­DENT

Clutha locked away their third south­ern re­gion rugby ti­tle in as many years with a 60-12 thrash­ing of Cres­cent in the fi­nal at Bal­clutha.

The home side had to ab­sorb some early pres­sure from the trav­el­ling Cres­cent side who took it to them for the first 15 min­utes. The game was tight in this pe­riod, both sides had goes at the line but each team’s de­fence held strong.

Clutha broke the dead­lock af­ter some in­di­vid­ual bril­liance from right winger Robin Fe­si­lafai. Clutha then took the as­cen­dancy. They put pres­sure on the Cres­cent at­tack line, mak­ing them fum­ble the ball and give away easy me­tres.

Cres­cent had the stronger scrum in the first half, but Clutha al­ways seemed to get tidy ball nonethe­less. Cres­cent con­tin­ued to make mis­takes and gift pos­ses­sion back to Clutha who kicked wisely for ter­ri­tory and mounted at­tacks in the right ar­eas of the field. Cres­cent were also guilty of slip­ping off first up tack­les.

Clutha full­back Tyler Bichan made the most of this. The ball was re­cy­cled quickly through a cou­ple more phases and Bichan scored in the cor­ner. The next Clutha try came fairly quickly af­ter­wards.

Tight­head prop Phil Keigh­ley, who used to ply his trade on the wing for Clutha, re­ceived the ball 20 me­tres out be­fore beat­ing two play­ers and dragged an­other two over the line to score. Sylvester Reeves added an­other Clutha try be­fore the break to make the score 24-0 at half­time.

Cres­cent had to score first in the sec­ond half to re­store some con­fi­dence. They fought their way down to to­wards the Clutha line, but an­other costly er­ror awarded Clutha a scrum 10 me­tres out from their own line. The Cres­cent scrum shunted Clutha back but they man­aged to re­cy­cle the ball and give it to Sylvester Reeves who ran 90 me­tres to score a try un­der the posts. His run in­volved beat­ing sev­eral sloppy Cres­cent tack­lers and sprint­ing to the line un­op­posed.

Cres­cent were hurt by this blow but they man­aged to se­cure some de­cent phases, their for­wards con­tin­ued to make me­tres but once again they failed to fin­ish. They gifted Clutha the ball back and full­back, Bichan grabbed his sec­ond of the day. Winger Kane Te­u­nis­sen scored soon af­ter to seal the deal for the Clutha side.

Con­tin­ued on back page

‘‘Cres­cent had the stronger scrum in the first half but Clutha al­ways seemed to get tidy ball nonethe­less.’’

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