Due to a lack of Iona or SPLC posters here's my take on that game.
Having watched the replay I was wrong about the scrum dominance of SPLC. They were about as even as it gets. Also, it wasn't a bit scrappy, it was just scrappy throughout and never rose to any great heights, with neither team managing to get beyond the 2nd or 3rd phase due to impatience and lack of cohesion. Far too many rushed passes when nothing was on, or lack of support at the breakdown. It was as if neither team had any idea where the ball was going next.
Both teams lacked cohesion in attack, but Iona looked the most dangerous when they did manage to string something together. The 11 had a few good incursions but lacks finishing pace, while the 10 did his best, scoring a good early try and often beating the first line of defence. By far the best player on the paddock was Charlie KSB, the bloke is a deadset cannonball and would be a walk up inclusion to an AIC team if one was selected. Not just a one trick pony either, often setting up his outside men with well timed passes, and pulling off a great cover tackle when Peters threatened to break out late in the game. He will cause many headaches for SLC and Villa over the coming weeks. The 9, Begbie, is your typical pest of a halfback, and I say that with utmost respect. Always sniping and great passing from the ground, have to love that. In the forwards Saxon Warwick at 3, and Pepe at 8 looked good.
Positives for Peters was their lineout, winning all cleanly. They have also worked on developing a rolling maul which produced dividends with a try and a promising attack in the 2nd half which unfortunately ended in the 2 suffering what looks to be a serious injury if the reaction of his halfback is any indication, and the fact he was stretchered off. Hope It's not as bad as it looked and he recovers soon.
They have some big boys, especially 1,5,6 and 8. Faifua is the best 6 in the comp, period. Keynan Tauakipulu did not have as big an impact as I thought he would, but got better as the game wore on. Radel was utterly wasted in the centres. He barely touched the ball until a couple of minutes left and then tore the Iona defence to shreds setting up a superb try for his winger, but by then it was all too late. Why wasn't he given the ball at every opportunity? Peters must use him a lot more, he is a weapon. Other than him the SPLC backs are very average.
I reckon the southside is still wide open. Iona and SLC are front runners after the first round, but I can see the pack closing in if they slip up.