Three in a row for Clutha rugby
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.’’