Tawa back among ti­tle con­tenders

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

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.

Photo: PETER McDON­ALD

On the charge: Tawa prop Taniela Koroi was part of a well-per­formed front row against Marist St Pat’s.

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