Wests hold off Tawa
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.