Vik­ings shamed in game

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

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.

Photo: KRIS DANDO

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.

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