Drag­ons run out of puff in cru­cial mo­ments

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

It was tough view­ing for Dar­ryl Rolle­ston.

His St Ge­orge Drag­ons side were well beaten by Up­per Hutt in round six of Welling­ton’s pre­mier rugby league grade on Satur­day. The 44-8 score­line was re­flec­tive of a match in which St Ge­orge failed to make cru­cial tack­les.

‘‘ It wasn’t what we were ex­pect­ing,’’ Rolle­ston said. ‘‘Up­per Hutt were much bet­ter on the day, but we let them be. We were miss­ing a cou­ple of play­ers due to work com­mit­ments, but we just did not chal­lenge for any­thing.’’

A score­line of 16-4 at half­time at Whakatiki St meant St Ge­orge were still in the run­ning but the sec­ond half was a pro­ces­sion. Rolle­ston said Up­per Hutt played with plenty of pride.

‘‘It was a chance for them to step up as they’ve had a tough sea­son. But the amount of tack­les we were fall­ing off was not good enough. We have to play well against ev­ery team, but I think some of the boys went in with the at­ti­tude that we’d win and you can’t think like that. We tend to chal­lenge against the com­pe­ti­tion lead­ers [such as Rand­wick and Te Aroha] but yes­ter­day the work and the com­mit­ment wasn’t there.’’

Rolle­ston said their 1- win, 5-loss start to the sea­son hasn’t been easy to stomach, but there are pos­i­tives. Young­sters are com­ing through in the ranks and they have a group of loyal club play­ers, Rolle­ston said.

Full­back Luke Patelisio has been a stand­out so far this sea­son.

‘‘He’s been very con­sis­tent and quite out­stand­ing for a small guy,’’ Rolle­ston said. ‘‘He’s great on at­tack and saved a num­ber of tries when some­one breaks the line and he’s the last man. A num­ber of play­ers are putting their hands up for us but more work on de­fence and be­ing fit­ter is go­ing to help us.’’

St Ge­orge lie sixth of eight teams in the pre­mier grade, ahead of Up­per Hutt and the win­less Pe­tone. This week’s match against Wainuiomata shapes as a cru­cial fix­ture, Rolle­ston said.

Porirua Vik­ings, mean­while, also found them­selves on the wrong end of a big score, go­ing down to com­pe­ti­tion lead­ers Rand­wick, 56-12. The Vik­ings are fourth in the ta­ble.

Norths 1 re­main top of the ta­ble in Kapi Mana pre­mier net­ball, thanks to a close-run 53-47 win over Kahu­rangi. In other re­sults, KBJ 1 beat Rockz 1 58- 24, Pare­mata-Plim­mer­ton went down 48-29 to Tawa Red and Aotea Red de­feated KBJ 2 58-37. Tawa and Western Sub­urbs both made it into the sec­ond round of the Chatham Cup on Sun­day. Both had tricky ties, with Tawa trav­el­ling to Seatoun and Wests host­ing Pe­tone in Whitby.

Mike Ra­maek­ers scored a brace as Tawa won 3- 0 and a Joel McCormack strike in the 12th minute was enough to seal Wests’ pas­sage into round two.

The sec­ond round will be played over the weekend of June 2.

Photo: PETER McDON­ALD

Full of run­ning: St Ge­orge cen­tre Nashua Tatupu on the burst against Up­per Hutt.

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