Tawa in 3-way tie

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

The Tawa RFC coaches refuse to be­lieve they are now the dom­i­nant se­nior side in the Porirua basin, but a gutsy 20-13 Ju­bilee Cup win over neigh­bours North­ern United on Satur­day has many think­ing just this.

Tawa is in a three-way tie for sec­ond spot af­ter three games on 10 points, while Norths has dropped to fifth on eight points.

In front of a big crowd at Lyn­d­hurst Park, Tawa’s for­wards smashed into their op­po­sites early, set­ting the plat­form for what would be a match-win­ning 40 min­utes of football. Three tries were scored as they took a 17-3 lead into the break.

Tight­head prop Taniela Koroi dived over af­ter an at­tack­ing scrum, half­back Steve So’oialo took ad­van­tage of a Norths mis­take and ran 40 me­tres to score, and lock Brian Bur­ridge crossed af­ter an at­tack­ing li­ne­out.

Norths made changes and ral­lied in the sec­ond spell and lock Tim Faleafaga scored to make it 17-8. A penalty to Tawa’s Jono Boyd pushed it to 20-8 and while Norths’ first-five eight Dud­ley Par­sons dot­ted down late, the home side hung on.

In­ter­est cen­tred on who would trot out in the No 15 jer­sey for Tawa but due to the club fail­ing to get clear­ance in time, for­mer Norths star James So’oialo did not take the pitch.

Tawa co-coach Dion Waller said they knew their Porirua neigh­bours would come out fir­ing in the ‘‘bat­tle of the bridge’’.

‘‘The win­ning of the game was al­ways go­ing to be control and dis­ci­pline. I’m just so happy for the boys be­cause they worked re­ally hard for each other. Our for­wards were es­pe­cially awe­some in that first half.

‘‘All games are won up front and with Steve out there, di­rect­ing the backs, we knew we had what it took to win.’’

Tawa has a few in­jury con­cerns with Ephraim Reynolds, Treeby and Steve Sasagi in doubt for the Marist St Pats game this Satur­day, while Norths host Swin­dale Shield win­ners Hutt Old Boys-Marist.

Else­where, Norths beat Ori­en­talRon­go­tai 36-14 in premier women’s play, while Aotea Col­lege crashed 56-7 to St Pat’s Sil­ver­stream in col­lege premier 1.

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