Sec­ond half blitz for Norths

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

It was just the 100 kilo­me­tre per hour start that Steve Ha­turini didn’t want. North­ern United’s new pre­mier rugby sea­son kicked off in dra­matic fash­ion un­der sunny skies and on the hard deck of Tren­tham Me­mo­rial Park on Satur­day.

All Norths’ points in the 34-34 draw with Wainuiomata came in the sec­ond spell.

Ha­turini said his side was just too keen to blast out of the blocks and with that en­thu­si­asm came er­rors.

‘‘The key thing we’ve said right through train­ing is to slow it down and play the game at our pace,’’ he said. ‘‘By try­ing to go 100kmh, things went wrong.

’’The boys were a bit hyped up. Once we slowed it down, it went well and we should have won.’’

Down 24-0 at half­time, Norths found their feet in the sec­ond 40 and a try to Daniel Aiono, a dou­ble to Inoke Rasa­bale and a penalty try for a high tackle gave them three com­pe­ti­tion points.

‘‘We let our­selves down in the last few min­utes with an er­ror that led to Wainui scor­ing, but there were plenty of good things we can be proud of,’’ Ha­turini said.

‘‘We never gave up and our fit­ness and ac­cu­racy re­ally came through.’’

Tawa, mean­while, showed they mean busi­ness with a 70-15 thump­ing of north­ern neigh­bours Pare­mata Plim­mer­ton.

It was more than a point a minute in the open­ing half as Tawa raced away to lead 46-3.

The only time coach Dion Waller’s face dark­ened was when big lock Te­lea Seu­manutafa, who scored two tries, passed to a team-mate to dot down when he was al­ready over the try­line.

‘‘What I’m most rapt about was our con­sis­tency,’’ Waller said. ‘‘We had a plan and stuck to it. There was good dis­ci­pline and our set piece was ex­cel­lent.’’

Along with Seu­manutafa ram­pag­ing about, lock­ing com­bi­na­tion Bradd Forster and Pati Gaualofa were bril­liant, No 8 TJ Fer­ma­nis was ev­ery­where and the back­line looked full of men­ace.

James So’oialo looks set to get among the points-scor­ing records again. He scored a hat-trick of tries and kicked 20 points for a haul of 35 points.

Although Pare­mata Plim­mer­ton were out­mus­cled, they scored the try of the match.

Full­back Ryan McLean coun­ter­at­tacked from in­side his 22, linked with No 8 and skip­per Tane McMillan-Parata, who ran on and placed a per­fect cen­ter­ing kick for his brother, Kewa, to col­lect and score.

Dave Birnie said it was al­ways go­ing to be dif­fi­cult against a big Tawa side.

‘‘We scored two tries, but our set pieces need some work,’’ Birnie said. ‘‘It’s a tough ad­just­ment at this level and we’re up against rep­re­sen­ta­tive play­ers.

‘‘We stood up in many ar­eas and this will be a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.’’

Up the guts: North­ern United prop Da­ley Ena shrugs off Wainuiomata tack­lers.

Ris­ing high: North­ern United lock Ja­cob Fale­tu­tulu had an ex­cel­lent game.

New tal­ent: Tawa lock Bradd Forster had a de­but to re­mem­ber.

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