The 96th game between traditional foes Otago Boys and Southland Boys ended in a 16 all draw today at Littlebourne, Dunedin. The game was tight the whole way, with neither side ever really obtaining a comfortable lead and we were treated to a finish for the ages.
Otago Boys landed the first blow, with Liam Edwards kicking a penalty after establishing good field position, to take a 3-0 lead.
Southland Boys hit back not long after through First Five Scott Eade, taking the score to 3-3.
Tries to Ryan Williams and Kurt Hammer saw Otago Boys take a 13-3 lead into halftime.
The Southland Boys fightback came in the second half, scoring a converted try, before Eade landed the penalty that took the score to 13 all.
With five minutes to go Otago Boys were awarded a penalty straight out in front of their posts, 30 metres out. With goal kicker Liam Edwards having sustained an injury in the previous passage of play, Lance Taylor stepped up to take, and make, the kick to give Otago Boys a three point buffer.
Holding Southland Boys out proved to be too much of a task though, as they applied constant pressure in the final minutes. Otago Boys defended desperately but could not avoid conceding the penalty that saw the score go to 16 all.
It was a fantastic game all around, with a high standard of rugby being played and a good free-flowing nature to the game. Both sides defended well, holding the other out in desperate circumstances on multiple occasions.
Despite the draw, both sides had chances to win the game, with both backlines being guilty of passing behind their man at times, slowing momentum and blowing definite chances.
Liam Edwards had an outstanding game for Otago Boys, looking dangerous from the back as he cut the Southland Boys defence open on many an occasion and kicking for territory well.
The Otago Boys pack gave a much improved performance on last week, matching the Southland pack in the scrum and around the park. Brodie Hume was highly influential on the blindside flank with his brutal defence and good covering skills.
Scott Eade was the pick of the Southland players, with his dangerous running and radar accurate goal kicking proving to be very efficient.
Next week Otago Boys travel to Dunstan while Southland Boys will host Kavanagh College in games both teams should be favored to win.
Ironically, the draw was the 11th between the two sides in their 96 game interschool history.