Bruns­don stakes his claim

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Is Dean Bruns­don the best player in Welling­ton club rugby right now?

The open­side flanker was a key man again for his North­ern United side as they over­came a dis­rup­tive John­sonville side 28-3 in the misty driz­zle at Hel­ston Park on Satur­day.

The win means Norths se­cure top spot for the Hard­ham Cup semi-fi­nals – they play Wests at Porirua Park on Satur­day.

Bruns­don has been a stand­out all year and has scored seven tries in the Hard­ham round.

Norths coach Thomas Per­e­nara said the team’s mix of vet­er­ans and bright, young tal­ent was hold­ing them in good stead.

‘‘ I know higher hon­ours are be­ing looked at for Dean and he ut­terly deserves it.

‘‘I could put him up against any­one in the comp, only Ardie Savea is on the same level, so fin­gers crossed Dean gets the call-up [to the Welling­ton Lions].

‘‘He plays hard and fast, he has the to­tal game and is a leader.’’

Per­e­nara said Norths had won ev­ery tro­phy in Welling­ton aside from the Hard­ham Cup, and that they didn’t lack for mo­ti­va­tion.

‘‘We’ve said, ‘Let’s go and win this’. We re­spect the cup and it hasn’t been hard to gee them up.

‘‘Yes, we would rather be in the Ju­bilee Cup, but this is a huge build­ing block for us for next year.’’

Tawa, mean­while, se­cured top spot and booked a home semi-fi­nal in the Ju­bilee Cup af­ter beat­ing Hutt Old Boys Marist 23- 9 at Lyn­d­hurst Park.

That was de­spite hav­ing two play­ers sin-binned for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive week.

Tawa host Old Boys-Univer­sity at Lyn­d­hurst Park on Satur­day.

North­ern United women’s side thrashed OBU 63-5 and will be warm favourites to lift the Vic­to­ria Tav­ern Tro­phy against Ori­en­tal-Ron­go­tai at Porirua Park on Fri­day at 7pm.

In Cen­tral League football ac­tion, Western Sub­urbs stay in the hunt for the ti­tle af­ter see­ing off Wairarapa United 5- 3 at En­deav­our Park.

Wests coach Lloyd O’Keefe said his young side con­tin­ued to im­prove and had ‘‘ev­ery­thing to play for’’.

‘‘We’re keep­ing the ball well. When we turn it over we get it back quickly. Hav­ing won five games in a row and wel­com­ing back our [New Zealand] un­der-20 play­ers, we’re re­ally bullish and Rangers and Olympic should be look­ing over their shoul­ders.’’

Tawa, mean­while, lost 1-0 to Napier City Rovers and stay rooted at the foot of the ta­ble.

Porirua Vik­ings saw off Wain- uiomata 34-8 in the first round of Welling­ton club rugby league play­offs and play Rand­wick on Satur­day in Nae­nae.

The win­ner goes straight to the grand fi­nal, and the loser gets an­other life against the win­ner of the Wainuiomata v Univer­sity clash.


Fear­some flanker: Dean Bruns­don gets his hands on the ball of­ten, tack­les his heart out and is even a li­ne­out op­tion for North­ern United.

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