Vik­ings show cham­pi­onship cal­i­bre

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Porirua Vik­ings will go into this week­end’s fi­nals se­ries with their tails up af­ter a 74-14 hid­ing of neigh­bours St Ge­orge on Satur­day.

The win sees the Vik­ings clinch first place fol­low­ing the com­ple­tion of the round-robin part of the sea­son, af­ter Wainuiomata fell to Rand­wick. Both Wainui and the Vik­ings fin­ish on the same num­ber of points, but the Porirua side has a su­pe­rior points dif­fer­en­tial.

It was just re­ward for the team, who were de­nied a sure two competition points when their pre­vi­ous fix­ture, against Up­per Hutt, was rightly called off be­cause of the threat of light­ning.

St Ge­orge, who fin­ished bot­tom in the competition, flew out of the gates at As­cot Park on Satur­day, pil­ing on the pres­sure and points in the open­ing ex­changes.

But the qual­ity of the Vik­ings even­tu­ally won through and the sec­ond half, es­pe­cially, was a romp.

Coach David Lo­max was pleased with the way his charges weath­ered the early Dragons’ on­slaught, then showed their cham­pi­onship cal­i­bre.

‘‘St Ge­orge al­ways play with a good attitude and we were ex­pect­ing them to come out like that. They scored the first two tries but we got on top and even­tu­ally ran away with it. Of­ten you’ll see teams do all the work early and then sit back but it was the other way with us this time, we fin­ished well and that was pretty pleas­ing.’’

In the 1 v 4 and 2 v 3 for­mat, the win­ners of the Vik­ings/ Te Aroha and Wainui/ Rand­wick matches go straight into the semi­fi­nals and have a week off. The losers will face off against the win­ners from the bot­tom four play­offs ( St Ge­orge will play Pe­tone).

Rand­wick loom as a real dan­ger in the post-sea­son play.

‘‘They had a few in­juries at the start of the sea­son, but they’re at full strength and they will be tough to beat,’’ Lo­max says.

He and Vik­ings chair­man Bernie Wood are al­ready laud­ing a suc­cess­ful 2011 for the club, with the re­serves un­beaten and the un­der 19s only suf­fer­ing a sin­gle loss.

‘‘We’ve re­cruited well – it shows that there are suc­ces­sion plans in place at the Vik­ings,’’ Lo­max says.

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