Stepping up for a win
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.
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.