Surf crumbles to in-form Hinuera
Tokoroa falls short to competition leaders
A couple of lucky tries proved to be the difference as Southern United produced a spirited performance only to fall 17-7 against Hinuera in a physically absorbing encounter.
Surf showed their intent from the opening whistle as they muscled up and launched their attack on the competition leaders who were looking to solidify their place at the top of the table.
Blustery conditions fell
in favour of the visiting Surf side in the opening 40 minutes as they nailed Hinuera deep in their own half and defended their try line.
As the pressure continued to build, Surf showed continuity as they put together a number of phases but could not add the finishing touches and convert it into points.
Eventually the breakthrough for the visitors came when first five-eighth Zane Costar caught the defence off guard chipping the ball into space and winning the race to the line as Surf took a 7-0 lead.
However, Hinuera displayed their class and wrestled their way back into the contest as Southern scrambled in defence to keep their opposition out.
Hinuera were boosted when they leveled the scores minutes before halftime with a try against the run of play when their number 10 Toby O’Reilly stripped possession away and ran in for the try.
Despite playing into the strong conditions, Surf battled away playing the majority of the second spell.
The turning point came when Southern were forced to play with 14 men after the referee harshly penalised prop Sean Woonton for a tackle that earned him a 10 minute rest.
Hinuera took control and hit the lead from the ensuing penalty, then extended their advantage minutes later when an oppor- tunity to attack arose for Southern but O’Reilly was on hand to intercept a pass for Hinuera for his second try.
Surf were successful as they made inroads in the Hinuera defence but the hosts were able to hang on as they did earlier on in the match and eventually picked up the win.
Meanwhile the senior B side remain in top four contention after their tough loss against difficult opposition and both Surf teams will aim to close out the season this weekend against an in-form Taupiri side at home.
Hard defence: James Sutherland and Brodie Haugh (headgear) taking the defence to Hinuera.
Running hard: Prop Bryan Cameron with ball in hand closes in on the Hinuera try line.