Otago - NPC News

Last minute try lifts Otago into second place in NPC
By Brent Edwards

Invercargill: Mathew Priscott celebrated his national championship debut by scoring the match-saving try for Otago against Southland on Saturday.

Priscott, who will turn 22 on Wednesday, came on as a replacement for centre Reuben Parkinson seven minutes from the end and scored in the corner after Otago shoved Southland off the ball at the scrum. "It was good hands from those inside me and I really just had to dive over but I was pretty stoked," Priscott said later. But there were certainly no celebrations in the Otago dressing-room as players reflected on the 18-18 draw. "We're disappointed with the way we played but we're relieved we got away a draw," Priscott said later. "Two points are better than none." Priscott, who is studying physical education and science at the University of Otago, made his first appearance for Otago (as a right wing) in the non-championship match against Wellington at Athletic Park on August 7.

Ironically, Otago has moved from third to second place despite its sub-standard performance on Saturday. Auckland, Otago, Canterbury and Waikato make up the top four after three rounds of the NPC but the Otago team is under no illusions it will need to improve to beat North Harbour at Carisbrook next Sunday. "We wanted 12 points from our first three games and we've got 11," coach Kevin Gloag said. "Southland was probably hungrier and more urgent and it was fortunate we got it together in the last minute." Gloag said one of the positives was the new inside back combination of Cory Brown and Matt Carrington. "They were under a lot of pressure at times but they stuck to the task well."


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