Win despite errors
Surf prevailed against Pirongia 46-20 in a match where they squandered scoring opportunities and put themselves under pressure through handling errors.
To Pirongia’s credit they played with tenacity, opening the scoring off an early penalty kick, 3-0. Surf struck back minutes later with a converted try to fullback Lee Manu, 7-3.
Somewhat of an arm wrestle ensued, as both sides attacked and defended willingly throughout the remainder of the half.
Pirongia had a slight edge at scrum time denying Surf backs front foot ball from set phase.
Surf did however manage to mount pressure through some good forward and back interplay, which lead to a try by second five-eight Azza Pene, 12-3.
Surf’s first five-eight Sam McLeod scored next, 19-3. Young lock Ash Haywood showing his strength, burst through several Pirongia tackles to score Surf’s fourth try of the match, 24-3.
The momentum swung Pirongia’s way as they went on attack and scored a well-executed try from set phase as Surf failed to make an effective tackle, 24-10.
Just before half time Pirongia converted a penalty after Surf forwards infringed at ruck time, 24.13. The second half began as the first had ended, with Pirongia forwards leading the attack. From a penalty tap five metres out on the right, Pirongia spun the ball quickly to the left where superior numbers saw them score, 24-20.
Surf maintained their composure and lifted the game to another level. This affectively shut Pirongia out. Surf ran in four second half tries, firstly to prop Herb Leef who busted through the Pirongia forward pack dragging several of them over the line as he scored, 29-20.
Flanker John Balvert then scored from broken play with his trademark pace, 34-20. Halfback Jayden Watene was next to score from the base of a breakdown close to the Pirongia try line, 39-20. Player of the day Jason Campbell scored the final try, 46-20.
Surf play Putaruru this Wednesday at the Oval. Kick off is at 7.30pm.
SOUTHERN FORCE: Southern United’s John Balvert wins the line out against Pirongia over the weekend.