Tawa, Norths go on to cup semis

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Both Tawa and North­ern United are into the Hard­ham and Ju­bilee Cup club rugby semi­fi­nals, re­spec­tively, af­ter wins on Satur­day.

In heavy rain and bit­ing wind at Kil­birnie Park, Norths recorded an im­pres­sive 19-13 win over Poneke, who they will meet again, on the same ground, in this Satur­day’s semi­fi­nal.

The Porirua side reg­is­tered three tries and then re­lied on solid de­fence for the win, with prop Steve Fa’atau, winger A J Va’alepu and re­place­ment full­back Peato Lafaele cross­ing to score.

Their 19-3 lead was unas­sail­able in this weather, al­though the home side came back strongly, with two tries of their own in the sec­ond half.

One Poneke player was held up over the line, and the ef­forts of hooker Ai­den Cains, lock El­don Paea and the re­turn­ing Serge Lilo con­trib­uted to a mon­ster ef­fort by Norths to hold on for the vic­tory.

Coach Frank Rees says while the Ju­bilee Cup round has seen them stum­ble, they have achieved their goal of a spot in the semi­fi­nals.

‘‘There’s been a real chang­ing of the guard here. Only two play­ers that won the Ju­bilee Cup in 2008 [a drawn fi­nal with MSP] were out there. That’s huge, it shows the depth we have. I think if you asked each club who they don’t want to face in the semis, it’s Norths. We have the team to go all the way.’’

Tawa, mean­while, made the most of the mis­er­able con­di­tions at Ian Gal­loway Park to beat Wests 20-0. The win not only put them sec­ond in the Hard­ham Cup ta­ble and able to host a semi­fi­nal, but it guar­an­teed Swin­dale Shield rugby next year.

Ran­dall Bishop kicked two penal­ties to give his side a 6-0 lead early on, be­fore No 8 Milo Mekaio scored to give his team a handy 13-0 half­time lead.

Tawa lock Pati Gaualofa then dot­ted down and with Bishop adding the con­ver­sion, 20-0 was enough to se­cure a mas­sive win. This Satur­day, they host a Rimu­taka side that have im­pressed as they pushed for premier rugby and will be no easy­beats.

Norths’ B team, af­ter an ex­cel­lent sea­son, will take on Old Boys-Univer­sity in the other Hard­ham semi­fi­nal.

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