Springston upset Southbridge to make semis

by Kent Caddick

In its first season in the top-flight of country rugby Springston has made the semi-finals after downing defending champions Southbridge in a tight tussle on Saturday.

Springston, which won the division two competition last year and this season stepped up to division one, scored the only try of the match and pinched a place in the semis with a penalty right on full-time.

A try to first-five, Cameron Powell, in the first quarter of the game, played in Southbridge, gave Springston a deserved early lead.

Southbridge replied with two penalties to fullback Cameron Plato to have the home side leading 6–5 lead at the half-time break.

The second half was an arm wrestle, with Southbridge having the better attacking opportunities.

Veteran Southbridge hooker Michael Sheat shows off his kicking skills

However, a tenacious Springston defence kept the champions at bay and right on the stroke of full-time earned a penalty, about 30 metres out and right in front of the posts.

Winger Connor Hamlin stepped up and slotted the penalty to give his side a deserved victory and a place in the semifinals, where it will meet Mid Canterbury side Rakaia after it disposed of Saracens from North Canterbury, 29–10.

Frontrunners Waihora earned its place in the semis with a narrow win in overtime over a tenacious Darfield.

At the end of 80 minutes in the match played in Tai Tapu the score was locked at 14–14 but a converted try in extra time gave Waihora the win and a place in this weekend’s semis 
against Prebbleton, which were comfortable 38–15 winners over Lincoln.