Or­cas put up a whale of a fight

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT -

A crowd of more than 2000 saw the Welling­ton Or­cas un­der-20 side give their New Zealand War­riors coun­ter­parts a run for their money at Porirua Park.

Welling­ton Rugby League had been pro­mot­ing the Wai­tangi Day clash for some time, giv­ing lo­cal fans the op­por­tu­nity to wit­ness the Toy­ota Cup champs square off against the best young tal­ent in the re­gion.

WRL gen­eral man­ager Ja­son Hem­son said hav­ing the War­riors host open days, train­ing ses­sions and matches in Porirua and the Hutt Val­ley was a way to strengthen the sport here.

Of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est was Porirua Vik­ings’ ris­ing star Johnny Te­leaga, turn­ing out for the War­riors.

War­riors re­cruit­ment man­ager Dean Bell said Te­leaga had a solid game.

‘‘ We need to watch and an­a­lyse the video and a de­ci­sion will be made about his fu­ture very soon.’’

The Or­cas were much smaller than their op­po­nents but left ev­ery­thing out on the field, tack­ling them­selves to a stand­still.

They stood in dan­ger of be­ing swamped, with the War­riors open­ing the scor­ing with a try within five min­utes, but they stuck to their struc­tures and went into the sheds up 14-10 at half­time.

The vis­i­tors took con­trol in the sec­ond pe­riod, their su­pe­rior size and con­di­tion­ing telling fac­tors as they ran out even­tual win­ners, 32-20.

Pe­tone hooker Kurt Robin­son was out­stand­ing, run­ning sharply from dummy half, while the Vik­ings’ cen­tre Hay­den Lewis proved tough to put down ev­ery time he touched the ball.

War­riors coach John Ack­land said it was a good ad­ver­tise­ment for the game.

‘‘It was a great fix­ture, the rugby league was of a high stan­dard and the crowd was fan­tas­tic,’’ he said.

‘‘I have no doubt that there is a wealth of tal­ent in Welling­ton. To de­velop this tal­ent we need to be ex­pos­ing them to reg­u­lar high­er­in­ten­sity games.’’

Ack­land said it was dif­fi­cult to iden­tify new re­cruits in a one-off match, but said there was a lot of tal­ent worth keep­ing tabs on here.

Bell said they would look to host an open trial in Welling­ton later this year.

In the cur­tain-raiser match, the Stephen Kear­ney Cup Se­lec­tion won a phys­i­cal match over a Mid Cen­tral un­der-20s XIII by 34-12.

The lat­ter side was made up of play­ers from Manawatu, Hawke’s Bay and Taranaki, with the Kear­ney team picked from Porirua, Hutt Val­ley and Welling­ton.

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