Fight for top spot
Northern United cemented a spot in premier club rugby’s Jubilee Cup semifinals with an emphatic thrashing of their former coach’s team on Saturday. The 59-12 victory over Frank Rees’ Petone side was built on the back of a huge firsthalf effort, where they ran in five tries. They were 24-0 up, with a bonus point already achieved, halfway through the opening 40, before speedster AJ Va’alepu finished off a 100-metre effort to give Norths a massive 31-0 lead at the break. Blindside flanker Francis Seumanutafa, wing Timoci Seruwalu, who had a blinding game, and Va’alepu would all score braces as Norths ran in nine tries all up in the Porirua Park sunshine. The win all but guarantees Norths a spot in the semifinals with a game to spare. Meanwhile, Tawa were smashed by Ories, 43-5 at the Polo grounds. Their season is now on a knifeedge – just outside the top four on points differential. This week Norths are away at Wainui while Tawa visit HOBM in a do-or-die match at the Hutt Rec. The Vikings’ entertaining 34-26 win at Ascot Park was built on the back of a dazzling display from halfback Anton Wereta. Directing traffic – and helped by a Wainui player getting sinbinned in the first five minutes – Wereta had a hand in every try to put his side out to a commanding 24-10 lead by halftime. The visitors came roaring back after the turnaround, with two excellent tries, but the Vikings’ canny halfback laid on two more tries to restore the big margin. AJ Akavi and Jon Masaga both nailed doubles. This Saturday Randwick will play the Vikings at Naenae Park for a spot in the grand final.
Determination: The face of Aggie Dean shows that Norths’ women mean business this year.