Otago Daily Times

Stags try hard but lack ac­cu­racy

- STEVE HEP­BURN Sports · Rugby · Invercargill · Greg Dyer

THE last kick of the game rather summed up the whole match.

South­land re­place­ment kicker Greg Dyer went for a penalty with time al­most up on the clock. He rushed it and, al­though it started out all right, in the end it went wide and missed.

That was a re­flec­tion of the whole game be­tween South­land and Taranaki in In­ver­cargill on Satur­day night.

Plenty of en­deav­our and ef­fort. Many things that went close. But just too many in­ac­cu­ra­cies, not enough pa­tience and not a lot of points.

Taranaki was on a three­match los­ing streak while the home team was com­ing off a de­feat to North­land in a game it should have won.

Nei­ther side played to po­ten­tial.

There was plenty of dropped ball, com­bi­na­tions failed to click and nei­ther side could get any mo­men­tum. The South­land for­wards tried to get a flow into their game and bat­tled hard but the er­rors came too of­ten.

Taranaki skip­per Lach­lan Boshier stamped his class on the match.

South­land coach Dale MacLeod said it was a frus­trat­ing game to watch.

He could not knock the ef­fort of the play­ers but things did not quite click.

“We would get a li­ne­out in their 22m and it would be a chance. But then we would knock it on or the com­bi­na­tion was not quite there and we would lose the chance,” he said.

“It was one of those sort of games. The guys tried re­ally hard. In the first half we were do­ing ev­ery­thing we could but just could not get the points.”

Full­back Josh Moorby in­jured his hand and there are fears he may have bro­ken it which would be a big blow. Winger Penikolo Latu went off with an in­jured knee and is likely to miss a cou­ple of weeks.

Much of the match was played in and around the half­way mark and there was few line breaks to speak of.

Taranaki opened the scor­ing af­ter just 10 min­utes with — what else — a li­ne­out drive.

The am­ber and blacks rum­bled the ball up to close to the line and prop Reuben O’Neill barged his way over. Scott Eade then knocked over three penal­ties to put his side ahead just af­ter half­time.

But young Taranaki winger Ja­cob Ra­tu­maitavak­iKneep­kens then showed some class near the hour mark, show­ing a nice chip and re­gather to the try. That ex­tended the score to 17­9 and South­land never re­ally got a sniff as the vis­it­ing team’s de­fence was too good.

Skip­per Tony Lam­born tried hard for South­land as did most and Moorby had his mo­ments.

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