The first round of the Southern Zone Rugby League South Island Premier Competition was played on Saturday August 12 and saw last year’s champions, the Southland Rams, play the Otago Whalers in Dunedin and the Tasman Titans travel to Greymouth to play the West Coast Chargers.
The Whalers picked up their first win against the Rams in seven years with a 56-20 victory and the Chargers had a strong win against the Titans 40-26.
Week two was played on the August 19 and saw the Southland Rams take a narrow victory 34-32 over the Chargers in Invercargill. In a major upset, competition newbies, the Aoraki Eels scored a big away win over the Tasman Titans, 44-20. The Eels have entered in their first year of the competition with the newly formed Aoraki district running its inaugural club competition in the spring months at the end of 2016. Players only qualified for the Eels representative team if they had been registered and played in the 2016 club competition. This ensured that players selected had already committed to rugby league.
The competition continues for a further three more weeks to find the South Island champion for 2017 and the district to go forward to the National Championship.