Step­ping up for a win

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Porirua Vik­ings have safely ne­go­ti­ated the first round of the Welling­ton Rugby League play­offs, dis­pos­ing of Te Aroha 35-6 at As­cot Park on Satur­day.

Played in bit­terly cold wind and rain, and watched by a hardy hand­ful of spec­ta­tors, the Vik­ings put them­selves into the semi­fi­nals with an as­sured vic­tory. Scor­ing seven tries, the win was built on the back of out­stand­ing hooker Shel­don Akavi and sec­ond-rower Jar­rod McDon­ald, with the ex­pe­ri­ence of backs An­ton Wereta, Greig Dean and Fred­die Robin­son to the fore.

It was 12-0 at the break and the home side made the game safe in the sec­ond half, much to the de­light of coach David Lo­max. The Vik­ings are al­ways strong on at­tack, and he says the de­fence is get­ting stronger.

‘‘The boys had a great attitude out there. There was great fo­cus and tim­ing and we didn’t give them too many op­por­tu­ni­ties, which we have done for teams in pre­vi­ous weeks.

‘‘We didn’t have Ge­orge [Mafi] or Frank [Rameka], but the guys out there stepped up. There is a great mix of young guys, with their en­thu­si­asm, and ex­pe­ri­ence of the older play­ers, and we’re mak­ing the ground up the mid­dle of the park, as well as around the edges.’’

The Vik­ings will have this week­end off, as will Wainuiomata, who de­feated Rand­wick.

Lo­max says they will get to­gether as a team this week­end, and keep up the in­ten­sity at train­ing over the next fort­night.

The Vik­ings will face the win­ner from Up­per Hutt/Rand­wick in one semi­fi­nal, while Wainui take on the Te Aroha/Pe­tone vic­tor.

St Ge­orge didn’t fire a shot in the play­offs, de­fault­ing to Pe­tone on Satur­day.

Photo: AN­DREA O’NEIL

Hard hit: Porirua Vik­ings’ play­maker Fred­die Robin­son tack­led high dur­ing the side’s ex­cel­lent win over Te Aroha in the first round of the play­offs on Satur­day.

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