Vikings shamed in game
Porirua Vikings’ embarrassing 100-0 premier grade loss to University Hunters in Wellington club rugby league on Saturday highlights off-field ructions at the club.
The Vikings’ side that took the field in the rain at Kelburn Park was nothing like the normal premier side. It was a scratch team, with players in differentcoloured socks, shorts and shirts.
Jon Masaga was one of the few premier regulars playing.
University scored tries at will and the Vikings had the ball just a few times. The match was eventually called off.
Vikings premier coach Peter Rikiriki, who was not in charge of the team at Kelburn, referred all questions to club chairwoman Pania Houkamau-Ngaheu.
Kapi-Mana News understands there was a desire among senior coaches to default the match, because of injuries among the premier squad.
Whatever the result on Saturday, neither University (in third place) nor Porirua (fifth) would move on the points table.
Wainuiomata and St George Dragons’ premier match was mutually called off on Saturday, with St George out of the running for a post- season spot and Wainuiomata unable to get higher than fourth.
Normally in situations involving injury, players from the premier reserve team would step up, but the Vikings reserves needed to win their game to be assured of a home playoff match.
Therefore many of the premier team who faced the Hunters were made up of Senior 1 players, or lower.
One club official, who didn’t want to be named, said a strategic decision was made to default the match, but coaches were overruled by club management.
Houkamau-Ngaheu said there was no way the Vikings’ premier team was going to default.
‘‘In an ideal world we would have had a premier team out there, but there have been a high number of injuries,’’ she said.
‘‘Despite that, defaulting was not an option. It comes down to integrity and pride. I’m seething about what Wainuiomata and St George did and can’t believe Wellington Rugby League let it happen.’’
She had got word of the 100-0 result and the paucity of suitable players on Saturday evening and said she would be demanding answers.
‘‘ As if the score wasn’t bad enough, I hear about the players in different uniforms and shorts. It’s not good and the senior management will be held accountable because it comes down to attitude.
‘‘I’m at the top of the ship, so it all stops with me, but this is not what our sponsors, funders, supporters and community deserves.’’
Houkamau-Ngaheu said Rikiriki would be in charge for the elimination playoff match against Wainuiomata on Saturday.
In Jubilee Cup rugby, Tawa’s hopes of make the semis could be gone after a17-16 loss to Hutt Old Boys Marist. In the Hardham Cup, Northern United beat Johnsonville 31- 5 and ParemataPlimmerton lost 20-9 to Avalon.
Massive loss: Davey Hotene puts a kick through for the Vikings premier side that was a hodge podge of players and uniforms against University on Saturday.