Lafaele calls for consistency and grit
Willie Lafaele was much happier on Saturday afternoon than last Wednesday night.
His Tawa premier rugby side came away from Fraser Park on Saturday with a satisfying 48-10 win over previously unbeaten Avalon.
So far, Tawa’s Swindale Shield season has gone loss, win, loss, win.
The 20-15 defeat last Wednesday to Upper Hutt at Maidstone Park had Lafaele tearing his hair out.
‘‘There were some words said after that match and it was made clear players needed to stand up – no more excuses,’’ he said.
‘‘The [Avalon] result made me happy for the boys and will be perfect for team morale. We wanted to make a statement and did that.’’
On Saturday, the first scoring of the match, an Avalon penalty, didn’t take place for 25 minutes. But three Tawa tries before the break, to Lotu Nuku, Etuale Togia and Vili Dakunimata, blew the game open.
Avalon hit back with a try early in the second half, but Tawa winger Kalim Kelemete scooped the ball from a ruck and scored down the blindside to secure victory for his team.
Faraimo Nofioaiga scored twice and Togia again to complete the rout.
Lafaele said the team’s youngsters, many just out of 1st XV colours, were coping in the tough club rugby environment.
That was evident against Avalon. ‘‘Attacking is simple but in defence you have to stand up. These Avalon boys were big, but a couple of big hits from our lads gave us the momentum we needed.’’
The result leaves Tawa ninth in a congested table, four points behind fifth-placed Northern United, who on Saturday recorded their third win in four games,
Norths saw off Poneke 26-18 at Kilbirnie Park with a couple of moments of magic, including Perry Hayman’s cutout pass to Peato Lafaele for the crucial try.
Paremata Plimmerton, meanwhile, remain winless despite a huge effort against defending champions Old Boys University at Ngatitoa Domain.
The home side’s defence stood tall for long periods and the match was only decided in the last five minutes, as OBU ran out 17-6 winners.
Tawa second-five Vili Dakunimata in action during last Wednesday’s loss to Upper Hutt.