Winning when it counts
The Vikings put University to the sword at Kelburn Park on Saturday, 42-22.
The result was a near reversal of the two teams’ first round result when University prevailed 40-22.
Vikings coach Peter Rikiriki said last time the teams met the Vikings were a few players down through injury.
‘‘Yesterday [Saturday] they had a few players out at the University World Cup.
‘‘ It was not only a form reversal, it was a situation reversal,’’ he said.
They were in fourth place on the ladder, one point behind University with Upper Hutt one place behind on equal points and Te Aroha just one point behind.
The win took them into second place.
‘‘We kind of needed it [the win] to move up the ladder and get a best possible finish for the year, second or third place,’’ Rikiriki said.
‘‘Results went our way. If we won and Wainuiomata lost we would go to second place.’’
The whole team wanted to be on the scoreboard.
‘‘It was a good spread of points across the board,’’ Rikiriki said. ‘‘There were tries all across the board, forwards and backs.’’
He picked fullback Isiraeli Baletivuki and centre Paul Ulberg as the most outstanding players of the day.
‘‘We probably played the best first half footie we’ve played this year,’’ he said. ‘‘We let it slip a bit in the second.’’
Rikiriki said Upper Hutt posed the biggest threat to the Vikings’ hopes. ‘‘They’re been building momentum. ‘‘They’ve been coming up with some surprise wins and also coming up with some surprise losses.
‘‘It seems with them, if they turn up on the day they can beat anyone.’’
This Saturday the Vikings travel to MacEwen Park to take on bottom-placed Petone while University and Upper Hutt dog-fight over third place.
Hungry: Porirua Vikings fullback
Isiraeli Baletivuki takes on the University line.