Wests hold off Tawa

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Some­times, three points for the win is all that mat­ters.

That was the feel­ing among Western Sub­urbs’ play­ers as they trooped off a heavy Red­wood Park on Satur­day. The 1-0 win over Tawa may not have been pretty, but Wests were never se­verely tested.

Wests co-coach Jamie O’Con­nor said it was a tight game and his side played the ball longer as part of their ad­just­ment to the heavy pitch. There was some qual­ity lack­ing at times, he said, but get­ting a win was im­por­tant.

Amer­i­can im­port Bren­dan Lesch scored on his de­but, nail­ing a 20-me­tre shot about 15 min­utes into the sec­ond half af­ter ex­cel­lent play down the right flank.

‘‘This is a tough league and there’s ev­ery chance a team at the bot­tom of the ta­ble can come away with a win,’’ O’Con­nor said.

‘‘Tawa are play­ing for their spot in the league and if they keep play­ing like that they will do well.’’

Wests rested four reg­u­lar starters, but O’Con­nor said grind­ing out the win and de­fend­ing well showed the strength and depth of the squad.

The re­cent heavy loss to league lead­ers Napier City Rovers had been rel­e­gated to the dust­bin, he said, and three wins on the trot now meant the signs were good.

Af­ter 10 league matches – past the half­way point in the sea­son – O’Con­nor said the most pleas­ing as­pect has been the de­vel­op­ment of the young play­ers.

The win over Tawa leaves the Porirua club com­fort­ably third on the league ta­ble, two points be­hind Wairarapa United and five be­hind Napier.

This week­end, Wests travel to New Ply­mouth Rangers for their third round Chatham Cup tie. Rangers knocked out Tawa in the pre­vi­ous round.

Tawa re­main on track in Welling­ton rugby’s Ju­bilee Cup, over­com­ing Ori­en­tal- Ron­go­tai 31- 22 at the Polo Ground on Satur­day.

Tries in the first half to hooker Matt Tree­byand the pro­lific Te­lea Seu­manutafa – it was the flanker’s 12th try of the sea­son – gave Tawa a handy 18-3 lead.

As ex­pected, Ories fought back and they dom­i­nated scrum­time and pos­ses­sion in the mid­dle of the game.

How­ever, the steady boot of James So’oialo and a try by re­place­ment winger Ross Tau­rima kept Tawa in front.

Tawa lock Pati Gaualofa was out­stand­ing and So’oialo’s ac­cu­rate kick­ing kept the home side pinned down for cru­cial pe­ri­ods.

Tawa, un­beaten in the Ju­bilee Cup, are sec­ond in the stand­ings af­ter three rounds, level on points with com­pe­ti­tion lead­ers Old Boys-Univer­sity.

In the Hard­ham Cup, North­ern United beat Tawa’s sec­ond team 31-7 at Porirua Park, af­ter Tawa had led 7-5 at the break, and Pare­mata Plim­mer­ton had another win, ac­count­ing for Pe­tone B 24-7 at Ngati­toa Do­main.

Norths are third and Pare­mata Plim­mer­ton fourth on the lad­der.

In Welling­ton premier rugby league ac­tion, Te Aroha ac­counted for Porirua Vik­ings 34-14 at Bernie Wood Turf, and St Ge­orge Dragons went down 34-10 to Univer­sity at Can­nons Creek Park.

Amer­i­can Bren­dan Lesch, right, had a de­but to re­mem­ber for Western Sub­urbs.

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