Tawa in 3-way tie
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.