Penalty seals Surf’s fate
Southern United couldn’t fault their effort in their final match of the 2014 season but it wasn’t enough as they were edged out 8-5 by a tenacious Taupiri side in a low scoring affair.
With atrocious conditions seeing the field deteriorating, both sides battled through the mud for ascendancy with a solitary second half penalty to the visitors proving to be the difference in what was a physical encounter.
Surf began the match with fierce intensity as they launched into everything and forced Taupiri into a number of errors with their brutal defence.
However, Taupiri were able to withstand Surf’s advances on their line and against the run of play eventually sliced through the hosts’ defensive line to score the opening try midway through the first half.
Southern were swift to reply with their own try as openside flanker James Sutherland, who had starred for the Tokoroa club all season, embarrassed the Taupiri defence as he slipped past several defenders to slide in for the equaliser.
Eventually both teams went into the halftime break levelled at 5-5, but it was Taupiri who made the better start to the second stanza as they forced Southern to defend their line for lengthy periods.
As the pressure continued to build against the home side, it resulted in Surf losing Sutherland to the sin bin after repeated team infringements.
From the ensuing penalty Taupiri slotted the three-pointer to give themselves a slim lead, but Southern were not about to surrender as the continued to deny the men in black and yellow.
Meanwhile, Southern second-five and player of the match Sonny Goodnight threatened with every run and had Taupiri on the backtracking numerous times throughout the contest.
But Surf could not find the finishing touches to get the much-needed points as Taupiri held on for the draining victory.
Meanwhile the senior B team also tasted a heavy defeat in their match-up against their counterparts which was not the ideal way to end what had been a superb season for the team.
Southern United would like to thank all their sponsors, particularly Ecolab and New World Tokoroa and supporters for their ongoing support this season and hope to have everyone back on board for 2015.
Hot on attack: Surf’s Sonny Goodnight looks to barge through the Taupiri defence with Samuel Pahewa and Brodie Haugh looking on.