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ITM Cup: Southland 15 - 25 Tasman
Makos deliver Lowe blows to Stags
August 17, 2013
Report Match details
Date/Time: Aug 17, 2013, 17:35 local, 05:35 GMT
Venue: Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill
Southland 15 - 25 Tasman
Half-time: 6 - 14
Pens: Eade 5
Tries: Lowe 2
Pens: Guyton 3, Symons 2

Tasman winger James Lowe unleashed impressive speed to score two tries as the Makos defeated Southland in their ITM Cup opener at Rugby Park in Invercargill on Saturday.

Lowe was a constant threat to the Southland defence, making good ground every time he touched the ball, and his 66th-minute try killed off the Stags' challenge. Fullback Tom Marshall delivered a perfect pass as he adopted the play-making role off a ruck, finding centre Kieron Fonotia to charge into space and link with flanker Liam Squire, whose pass to Lowe set the winger on his run for his second try of the game.

Lowe scored the only other try of the game, in the 22nd minute, when he outstripped the defence after a midfield break by Andrew Symonds following a clean lineout take by lock Alex Ainlie.

Symonds and Lowe combined to open the hosts' defence on several other occasions, particularly in the first half, and the Makos could easily have doubled their match tally of five-pointers. Symonds also landed two penalty goals before Billy Guyton assumed the kicking duties when he replaced Robbie Malneek after the replacement fly-half sustained a hamstring injury. Southland fly-half Scott Eade, meanwhile, landed two penalty goals but the hosts yet again lacked a try-scoring threat.

Southland fared better after an early fright at the start of the second half, and they looked more competitive in the third quarter, clawing their way back into the game as Eade landed three more penalty goals. Centre Bryan Milne and Keanu Kahukura made breaks, the wing pulled down centimetres short of the line, but Southland were unable to capitalise on their pressure and they paid the price when Guyton kicked his second penalty goal in the 57th minute.

Tasman back-rowers Shane Christie and George Stowers set the pace in the loose, while hooker Quentin MacDonald was like a dynamo, before Lowe put the game to bed.

© Sportal
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