Premier 1’s – Close encounter with Southern

Harbour      29
Southern    29

Harbour appeared to open the scoring against Southern in a thrilling 29-29 draw at Watson Park. But only a handful of people gathered in the corner actually saw hooker Sekonaia Pole ground the ball on the line. No-one else seemed to notice, including the referee, touch judge and the players.

The game’s official opening score was at the other end of the field, about 10 minutes later.

Southern finally got some territory and Mika Mafi just had to fall on the ball after Bryce Hosie skilfully put through a grubber.

Harbour had the better of the opening 40 minutes but Southern struck late in the half to lead 12-8 at the break.

The second spell was back and forth. Southern would take the lead, only for Harbour to muscle its way back up field and score.

Highlanders back-up first five-eighth Josh Ioane showed his class, stepping through a gap and running in from 15m out to score the game’s best try.

But Harbour scored the most important one and it came in the dying seconds. Southern led 29-22 but was pinned in its 22. All it needed to do was get the ball out of the scrum cleanly, kill 30 seconds and kick it out.

But the ball was fumbled and Harbour pounced, Kaleb Forde-Fraser getting clear on the outside.Halfback Tala Fagasoaia iced the conversion to seal the draw.

Read the full ODT write-up here.