Southbridge secures title

by Kent Caddick

Southbridge are Canterbury Country rugby champions again after a thrilling win over Rakaia in the competition’s finale on Sunday.

Beaten by fellow Ellesmere club side Waihora in last year’s final, Southbridge pulled off a come-from-behind 13-12 win to secure the title in perfect conditions at the Rakaia Domain on Sunday.

The home side scored the only try of the first half and lead Southbridge 7-0 at the half-time break.

Ill-discipline cost Rakaia early in the second spell when it allowed Southbridge back into the match with a try while two Rakaia players were cooling their heels in the sin bin. However, once the Mid Canterbury side had its full complement of players back on the field, it extended its lead to 12-5 with an unconverted try.

Southbridge closed the gap to two points with an unconverted try of its own and, with a couple of minutes left on the clock, Southbridge captain Shannon Donald stepped up to slot a match winning penalty from 30m out.

Tom Turner looks for support

Southbridge loose forward Mateo Raturawa looks to unload in the tackle

Cameron Sheat leads a Southbridge break

Southbridge players, coaching staff and fans celebrate the win