Vik­ings fi­nally get it right

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

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.

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