Teams battle it out for top spots
Northern United and Tawa braved the elements to record crucial wins in club rugby’s Jubilee Cup on Saturday, cementing their spots in the top four.
Results on the weekend mean, realistically, five teams are battling for four semifinal places.
Oriental-Rongotai remain top of the table with 20 points, despite falling to Norths at Porirua Park; Marist St Pats have 19; while Norths (17) and Tawa (15) are right in the hunt.
Wainuiomata (15) are the other contender, while next best is Hutt Old Boys-Marist on six points.
Tawa’s 16-3 victory over Upper Hutt was, again, built around their huge forwards doing the tough work in tight. It was just 3-3 at halftime, but two penalties after the break to Randall Bishop and a try to outstanding prop Taniela Koroi made the game safe.
Up the road at Porirua Park, Norths ran out 8- 3 winners against Ories. It was their first win over the Jubilee Cup holders in four games. Hurricanes utility back Alapati Leiua put a telling kick behind Ories’ defence that resulted in a penalty and gave Norths an 8-3 halftime lead.
Into the wind in the second 40, Norths defended like demons and were aided by errors from the visitors.
No points were added by either team in a game for the purists.
This Saturday sees Tawa travel to Ories and Norths are away to bottom-placed Petone.
Meanwhile, in the Premier Women’s Victoria Tavern eighth round, Norths defaulted their match to Eketahuna but remain two points clear on top of the table.
In the Hardham Cup, Norths B went down 20-5 to Wests Roosters.
North wind: Norths midfielder Siaosi Anamani tries to find some room in a tightly fought first half against Ories. Norths eventually won 8-3.