Bun­nies hop into sec­ond half rout

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT - JACK HISLOP

SOUTH Dar­win scored 26 sec­ond half points at Univer­sity Oval yes­ter­day to de­feat the Pi­rates and keep their un­de­feated NTRU record in­tact.

De­spite trail­ing 14-0 at half­time, the ex­pe­ri­ence of Sete­fano Cakau, An­drew Walker and Abele Atu­naisa en­abled the Bun­nies to mount a stir­ring come­back in the top-of-thetable clash.

“We were our own worst en­e­mies in the first half, pig­gy­back­ing them with penal­ties and not win­ning our li­ne­outs and scrums,” Souths coach James de Das­sel said.

“We tin­kered a few things at half­time and we got a bit of pos­ses­sion and you could see what we can do.”

The Pi­rates com­pletely dom­i­nated the first stanza. The open­ing 20 min­utes saw a bar­rage of at­tack on Souths’ try­line.

The Rab­bitohs did well to re­pel Uni. How­ever, they couldn’t scram­ble for­ever and Uni even­tu­ally crossed through a Shaun Wau­chope try.

Souths’ ill-dis­ci­pline let them down as a string of penal­ties con­tin­u­ally cat­a­pulted the Pi­rates up the field.

Univer­sity scored an­other con­verted try be­fore the break through Isaac Taulelei. A shift to the right caught Souths’ de­fence short on the right.

It was a dif­fer­ent story af­ter the in­ter­val.

The Rab­bitohs found ball and with it came their groove in at­tack. They lev­elled the score at 14-14 through tries to Chris O’Leary and Cakau within 15 min­utes.

Liam Walker’s per­for­mance for Uni at fly-half, filling in for the in­jured Rob­bie Butcher, was su­perb.

An in­di­vid­ual ef­fort saw him slice through the Rab­bitohs’ line af­ter a cross field run to score a five-pointer and put the Pi­rates back in the lead.

How­ever, that would be the home side’s last points of the af­ter­noon.

On the back of a dom­i­nant scrum, the pace of the Bun­nies back­line proved too much to han­dle for Uni.

A try to half­back Vinny Mehn and clean break from the half­way line from Atu­naisa gave them the lead with 10 min­utes re­main­ing.

Univer­sity boss Hone Ed­wards said he was dis­ap­pointed with his side’s at­ti­tude.

“In the first half we com­mit­ted our­selves to play­ing, but that sec­ond half, we didn’t want to play, we just died off,” he said.

“It’s a mat­ter of our team hav­ing to play 80 min­utes.”

South Dar­win 26 (O’Leary, Cakau, Mehn, Atu­naisa tries; Cakau 3 con­ver­sions) d Uni 21 (Wau­chope, Taulelei, Walker tries; Walker 3 con­ver­sions)

Univer­sity winger Evan Need­ham finds his way blocked at Univer­sity Rugby Oval yes­ter­day by Wise Sek­i­toga and Cole Roughen of Souths

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