Tawa back among title contenders
It’s been a rollercoaster ride for Tawa this premier rugby season, but supporters have to keep the faith.
That’s the message from coach Logan Tauili’ili, whose side played above themselves to down Marist St Pat’s in the Jubilee Cup on Saturday.
MSP halfback Peter Sciascia scooted over right on fulltime at Lyndhurst Park and the conversion made it 20-19 to Tawa. The fact that the Swindale Shield holders could only cross the tryline at the death was hugely pleasing for Tauili’ili.
His side’s victory was built on winning the forward exchanges and keeping the influential pairing of Sciascia and first- five Fa’atonu Fili quiet.
‘‘We worked very hard on closing those two down. Fa’atonu is an exceptional player and he strikes the ball so well, so it was important we didn’t give him a lot of room,’’ Tauili’ili said.
‘‘We lacked a bit of discipline at times, but we ticked a lot of boxes. It was a big win.’’
Tauili’ili said his halfback, Phillip Finau, had an excellent game and the brilliant front row of skipper Taniela Koroi, Lotu Nuku and Tolu Fahamokioa was outstanding.
It is Tawa’s second win from five games in the Jubilee Cup. After a wretched end to the Swindale Shield competition, and poor start to the Jubilee Cup, they have fought back well.
They sit fourth equal with OBU on 11 points, and Upper Hutt, MSP and Petone are all within a point.
‘‘The difference from last year is a lot of these teams have caught up to us,’’ Tauili’ili said. ‘‘Anyone could win it from here, it’s so close.
‘‘ The club has been very supportive, the coaches are great and the belief is there – anything is possible.’’
In the Hardham Cup, Paremata-Plimmerton had a morale- boosting 35- 19 win over OBU 2. Northern United, meanwhile, beat Poneke 28-20 to stay top.
In the women’s second round competition, Northern United stay unbeaten after dispatching Oriental-Rongotai 22-6. Tawa’s match with Stokes Valley was postponed.
In Wellington premier rugby league, Porirua Vikings crashed to their third straight loss, losing 42-26 to Randwick on Friday night. St George had an excellent 34-20 win over Upper Hutt.
In Central League football action on Saturday, Tawa went down 2-1 to Upper Hutt and have been sucked into a relegation battle. Upper Hutt are on seven points, just one off Lower Hutt in ninth and two off Tawa in eighth.
Western Suburbs beat Olympic 4- 1 at Endeavour Park.
On the charge: Tawa prop Taniela Koroi was part of a well-performed front row against Marist St Pat’s.