Dogfight for Fox final spot
The Richmond Bulldogs are still in with a chance of grabbing the last finals spot in the Fox preliminary league series, despite a narrow 24-20 loss to second-placed Glenora on Saturday.
Seven clubs look to have secured their place in the finals, with Richmond up against Papakura, Howick and Manurewa for the last position.
Richmond co-coach John Teina admits his side have a “real fight” on their hands to make it.
That’s because securing the eighth spot could come down to Richmond’s for and against points record, which has suffered in recent weeks after heavy defeats to Mt Albert and Northcote.
But Teina hasn’t given up just yet.
“We’re out there trying every week.
“Hopefully the guys take out of this game what we’re trying to achieve.”
Teina puts the dramatic improvement against Glenora at Grey Lynn Park down to the return of halfback Pita Godinet and second rower Henry Turua from the Auckland Vulcans.
The Vulcans, who play in the New South Wales Cup, are made up of top Auckland club players and New Zealand Warriors squad members not required for the top team.
“Pita was our player of the day.
“He scored a couple of good tries and steered the team around the park,” Teina says.
Meanwhile Mt Albert continued their domination of the competition, thumping Te Atatu 48-6 at Fowlds Park, while Ponsonby unleashed a 64-14 hiding on Ellerslie at Ellerslie Domain.
And Marist moved into third spot on the table after dismantling Mangere East 56-10 at Walter Massey Park, while Bay Roskill continue to struggle, losing out to Pakuranga 32-16 at Ti Rakau Park.
This Saturday Richmond take on Bay Roskill at Blockhouse Bay, Mt Albert host East Coast Bays at Fowlds Park, Ponsonby face Mangere East at Mt Smart Stadium 2 and Marist are away to Howick at Paparoa Park.
All matches start at 2.30pm.
Richmond’s Moses Robertson offloads to Pita Godinet, right, as he is taken by Glenora’s Aaron Booth.