A big day for Souths as the day’s matches were the precursor to the official opening of the Success Sporting Complex. An enforced three week break saw all players keen to take the paddock with only victory in mind.
The welcome return to the club of Chris De La Hay wasn’t the only highlight for the day as Souths tore into Arks from the off. The away team just couldn’t get their hands on the ball as the home pack proved that training during the break would pay dividends on game days. Scrum dominance was clear, with Coach Lee Chapman securing tighthead after tighthead, leading to Arks calling for the line-out after not straight infringements. A confidence filled Souths as they ground their way into the opposition 22. Another stolen scrum by Chapman saw Geordie James benefit with a pick and go from the back leading to the opening score. A frenzy swept over the Arks side, seeking to halt the early pressure. Good rucking from the back row presented a number of opportunities for the Arks 10, luckily only converting one. The half ended as it had started with considerable pressure and possession for Souths with Captain Carmichael nudging over a penalty. 8-3 to Souths at the break.
Two changes at half-time provided the spark. Pete Chas came on at tighthead and Jason Naboo filled the breach at 9. Both players were to add considerably to the second half effort as Souths looked for the victory that would keep them on top. Right from kick off, a good gather from Hayden Smith found its way to Naboo who’s massive punt, and subsequent poor return from the Arks full back set the platform. Line-outs had been a trouble area for Souths today, with inexcusable mistakes made due to call confusion. Not this time thought as neat play from the inside backs led to gaps galore. With Arks dog-legged and scrambling, Naboo fed Carmichael, then Lua Lua whose fine pass put James and Chapman in space. One more pop saw Lee Chapman pirouette into the corner for the second try. Unconverted, another penalty pushed the score out further. That man Peter Jackson, player of the day yet again, carried half a pack across the line for the third try of the game, sealing the win. A raft of late changes for Souths played the game out, with Arks frantic for the consolation score. The second most pleasing aspect of the day was the ferocious defending that kept them out. Back and forward a like maintained the hustle and organisation required to see a 21-3 win.