Mighty Mt Albert Lions won’t rest
Put yourself in Steve Buckingham’s shoes.
The Mt Albert Lions premier rugby league coach has master-minded his side’s past six consecutive wins – scoring an average of 42 points a game.
Their last was the crushing 62-4 victory over the Mangere East Hawks at Walter Massey Park on May 23.
Auckland Rugby League competitions take a break this weekend with the Lions then facing the Otara Scorpions on June 6, who have yet to put together a win.
With a team travelling this well and with most of the competition struggling to keep up, what do you do with a week off?
‘‘We’ll keep Buckingham says.
‘‘It can be a long year and we’ll take the opportunities like this when they come.’’
Mt Albert shares top of the table with Pt Chevalier and Papakura, with a healthy points differential keeping them ahead.
The problem is the top four Fox Memorial Shield sides, including the Glenora Bears, are starting to get too far ahead of the chasing pack.
Buckingham says it’s time for the other clubs to step up their game.
‘‘We’ve got a good reserve grade to call on.
‘‘If those other clubs want to get up to the top four sides, they’ve got to do things better,’’ he says.
‘‘Mangere East weren’t fit enough to compete . . . they were beating themselves before they took the field,’’ he says.
Mt Albert were sublime in testing weather conditions, with a field surface that held up in the rain but with little crowd atmosphere.
‘‘We held on to the footy and scored some good tries.’’
Lions centre Dillon Rota was one player who stood out,
training,’’ scoring a hat-trick of tries. He’s one of a handful of players in the representative round this weekend in Rotorua, where the New Zealand Maori Residents play Auckland on May 30.
Lions player Edward Purcell tries to break out of the Hawks’ tackle.
Mt Albert’s Soape Kavaliku is caught from behind.
Marcus Fraser throws a pass to aMt Albert runner.