Southern Inland have extended their winning streak over South Coast-Monaro after notching a scrappy 41-17 victory at Connolly Rugby Complex on Saturday.
The home side ran in seven tries to two off the back of a much-improved second half performance but were at times guilty of poor ruck defence and set-piece mishaps.
Flyhalf Cameron Duffy was a standout for Southern Inland, bagging a first half brace in what proved to be a tense 40 minutes for the favourites.
Duffy opened the scoring after a scything run from Josef Glazumina gave his side an attacking platform deep in South-Coast Monaro territory.
An error handed Southern Inland the feed at scrum time and Duffy weaved his way over on the third phase to hand the hosts a 5-0 lead after 10 minutes
South Coast-Monaro hit back with a try of their own down the left wing and converted successfully to edge ahead 7-5 off the back of their superior work at the breakdown.
It took a 29th minute try to Saione Ahomana for Southern Inland to regain the lead before Duffy struck again with his second five-pointer.
Fullback Blake Le Cornu finally found his rhythm off the tee to set a 17-7 advantage in the shadows of halftime, however, South Coast-Monaro continued to dominate the breakdown and were rewarded with a try in the 36th minute.
A South Coast-Monaro penalty after the halftime siren saw the scores locked at 17-all.
The injection of Menzies Seumanutafa and Freddy Tupou gave Southern Inland some welcome firepower in the second stanza but the backline shone brightest in the 20 minutes after halftime.
Glazumina produced a bootlace pickup to put reserve winger Lochie Ramm over for Southern Inland’s fourth try before Mike Van Diggelen and Matt Harris scored tries off the back of barnstorming runs from Noa Rabici.
Rabici bagged his side’s seventh and final try in spectacular fashion, combining with Le Cornu and Glazumina for a Barbarians-style score to put the game well and truly beyond reach.
Southern Inland captain Harry Hosegood said it was a good performance given the limited time players had to prepare.
“We pulled each other for two good sessions, got it together and went straight out there,” he said.
“It’s a good way to meet some of the other local rugby players too.”
Hosegood gave credit to an improved South Coast-Monaro side, branding the encounter a “tough game”.
“It’s always tough and they (South Coast-Monaro) certainly came out firing in the first half,” he said.
“We just upped the ante in the second half and got the result we wanted.”