Vikings finally get it right
Porirua Vikings coach Peter Rikiriki had some choice words on Saturday when his side turned on one of their worst 40- minute performances this season.
The second half of their premier rugby league clash against Petone at McEwan Park was completely different.
The Vikings stumbled to an 18-12 halftime lead against the worst side in the competition.
The attitude, Rikiriki said, was one of ‘‘turn up and we’ll win’’.
‘‘There was no rolling up the sleeves, no focus, everyone wanted to score tries and not do the work required.
‘‘One of our forwards tried a 30-metre pass at one point.’’
In the second half, the Vikings put their heads down, laid a forwards platform, and the tries kept coming. The final score of 70- 16 reflected a huge turnaround, Rikiriki said.
His leaders, Sheldon Akavi and Shaun Playford, stood up, with Akavi scoring three tries, and Isireli Baletavuki, Isaac Hoskings and Peter Mamila each scoring a brace.
‘‘We settled down and played to our game plan. We showed what we are capable of,’’ Rikiriki said.
With five games left in the regular season, and the squad largely injury- free, the Vikings were building well towards the playoffs, he said.
After St George this Friday night, the rest of their games are against the top teams in the grade.
Twenty-five players are vying for 17 playing spots, meaning competition is healthy.
Any injuries are fully assessed and the Vikings have a ‘‘welfare first’’ policy at the club, which meant players were not put at risk, Rikiriki said.
St George, meanwhile, were thumped 86-12 by Randwick at Naenae Park.
The Vikings are third on the competition ladder with 12 points. St George are third from bottom with three points.
The Titahi Bay Marlins edged out Te Aroha 32-30 in premier reserve as they battle gamely for a playoff spot.
Western Suburbs put their Chatham Cup exit behind them with an emphatic 4-1 win over Napier City Rovers in their Central League football match at Endeavour Park on Saturday.
Mohammed Awad got the ball rolling with a crisply taken goal in the sixth minute.
He and Sean Morris provided an excellent link between defence and attack and that showed when Alex Palezevic was put through on goal after 20 minutes to make it 2-0.
Two late goals from Noah Billingsley and Bailey Webster secured the win, which lifts Wests from eighth to fifth in the table.
Tawa, meanwhile, came away from Palmerston North Marist with a crucial 1-0 win, thanks to a goal from Richard Bott.
This weekend, Tawa will host Upper Hutt City at Redwood Park in round three of the Chatham Cup.
In the first round of Jubilee Cup rugby, Tawa suffered a heavy loss, 45- 15, to a Hurricanes- laden Oriental-Rongotai at Lyndhurst Park. It was their fourth loss on the trot.
Ardie Savea had a major influence on the game and the bonus point was in the bag inside 20 minutes. Ories were 35-3 up at halftime. Tawa have a growing casualty list – No 8 Sam Blair was the latest to go down with an injury on Saturday.
Northern United, meanwhile, suffered a major setback in their Hardham Cup campaign, losing 25- 24 to Old Boys- University’s second team.
Veteran outside back Peato Lafaele crossed for what looked to be the matchwinner, but OBU scored in one of the last movements of the game.
Paremata- Plimmerton were welcomed to life at Hardham Cup level with a 31-13 loss to Wellington.
In Kapi Mana premier netball action, Norths 1 beat ParemataPlimmerton 70- 26, Rockz 1 knocked over Kahurangi 63-43, KBJ 1 beat their second team 81-30 and, in the battle of the college sides, Tawa beat Aotea 48-35.