Norths beaten in nail-biter
Northern United find themselves in an unfamiliar midtable position after three rounds of Swindale Shield club rugby, following their nailbiting 35-27 loss to Marist St Pats on Saturday.
In sunny conditions, in front of a small crowd, MSP took their first win over Norths in six attempts in style, with their forward dominance the ultimate difference. With scores locked 13- all at halftime, Norths used the wind behind them and their superior backline to open up a handy 27-13 lead 10 minutes into the second half.
Mana Faraimo and a brilliant solo run by Perry Hayman suggested the home side would accelerate away but MSP dug deep and scored four tries to take the win.
Norths’ cause was not helped as they had a man sinbinned when down 28-27 and MSP kept the ball in among the forwards to run down the clock.
Play of the day went to A J Va’alepu, the pacy Norths’ winger shooting 70m down the grandstand touchline midway in the first half, finishing off with a swan dive into the corner.
Tawa, meanwhile, notched up the first points of their 2012 campaign with a 35- 12 win over Old Boys-university in the Lyndhurst Park sunshine.
In a replay of last year’s Hardham Cup final, the home team played out of their skins in the second spell to steamroll OBU. Captain and hooker Matt Treeby collected a double as Tawa made their opponents pay for turning the ball over at set-piece time.
Veteran Willie Lafaele dotted down with 10 minutes left to secure a bonus point.
Norths’ loss has them in seventh place on 6 points, one spot ahead of Tawa. Both are well adrift of Swindale leaders Ories (14 points).
There is a full round of club rugby action tomorrow (Anzac Day), with a local derby at Porirua Park – Norths v Tawa at 3pm.
Dotting down: Northern United second-five Perry Hayman scores a superb try in the second half against MSP. But it wasn’t enough to prevent his side recording its second loss in the Swindale Shield on Saturday.