With all the doom and gloom in the world economy, national pundits aren’t giving the Southland Stags their just dues.

Who would have thought that after four rounds of the national championship that our local boys would be in third place on the ladder – ahead of Super 14 bases Wellington, Auckland, Otago and Waikato?  It’s only because of that little blip against Manawatu that the Stags aren’t top.

Simon Culhane, David Henderson, and their team are to be congratulated and it’s encouraging to see Southlanders supporting them in the thousands at Rugby Park.

There’s another sporting event putting Southland on the map this week – the Oceania Cup featuring the Black Sticks at the new ILT Hockey Stadium at Turnbull Thomson Park.

International hockey is seen by a huge worldwide television audience.  Southland will be making headlines again.  At a time of economic downturn, Southland is definitely on the up, and not just in sports.