South Otago piled on 22 unanswered points on Saturday to snatch the Topp Cup from holders Central Otago.
Central led 12-8 at halftime, scoring two tries to one in brilliantly fine and sunny conditions in Cromwell.
In the second half, Arrowtown’s Steve Morris gathered a clearing kick about 50m out and scored after a brilliant run to extend Central’s lead to 24-15 after 49 minutes.
Four minutes later, South Otago’s Rhys Harrold kicked a penalty from 35m and the southerners took control.
They got their noses in front after winger Will Young crossed the line, following a strong forward rush.
Harrold converted from the sideline and Southern led 25-24 with 10 minutes left on the clock.
After 73 minutes, impressive centre Harrold scored a try after he ran from 40m, making it 30-24.
In the dying moments, Central spilled the ball while on attack and Southern wing Dylan Mathieson scooped it up and raced 70m to put the game beyond doubt.
Meanwhile, Arrowtown’s Isireli Nayloga scored two tries and Laurence Wadham kicked 12 points to help a Central Otago development team to a 32-21 win over their Southern rivals, also in Cromwell.
South Otago 37
Rhys Harrold 2, Ben Young, Will Young, Dylan Mathieson tries. Harrold 2 pens, 3 cons
Central Otago 24
Simon Lloyd 2, Ben Purvis, Steve Morris tries. Chris Young con, Ben Maxwell con
Central Otago Dev 32
Brayden Cormack 2, Isireli Nayloga 2 tries. Laurence Wadham 2 pens, 3 con
South Otago Dev 21
Jayden Dovey 2, Jacky Scott tries. Scott 3 con
Otago Daily Times