Vikings raid on Petone a slam
The Porirua Vikings recovered from another slow start to record a resounding 50-20 win over Petone at Porirua Park on Friday night, while St George notched their first win of the season in premier club rugby league.
Down 14-0 after 20 minutes, the signs were not good for the Vikings, who were hammered the previous weekend by Randwick. Handling errors and the Panthers’ dominant field position meant worrying times for Vikings coach Peter Rikiriki.
But the home side showed fortitude to come roaring back, led by forwards Rocky Masoe and Va’a Kirisome, who made some telling breaks. Defence around the rucks, which was awful against Randwick, was tight.
‘‘We were down 14-nil and I think that realisation just sunk that the game was slipping away, so the boys stepped up,’’ Rikiriki said. ‘‘We really need to work on those bad starts [to the game] but we showed once we got into it that we can play well.’’ Along with positive momentum from their forwards, Anton Wereta was key to directing the Vikings around the park. In the washup, eight players scored tries as they ran riot over the fading Petone side.
St George beating Upper Hutt ( 26- 18) and Randwick losing to Te Aroha on Saturday shows this will be a close competition, Rikiriki says.
Wainuiomata sit on top of the table with eight points, with Randwick and the Vikings on seven. St George’s win sees them move level with University on two points.
The Vikings host Upper Hutt at Ascot Park on Saturday, while the Dragons go to Te Whiti Park to play Te Aroha.