Norths and Tawa carry on winning way


Big wins on Saturday have North­ern United and Tawa well po­si­tioned in Swin­dale Shield rugby and hun­gry for more suc­cess.

North’s resur­gence, and their push for Ju­bilee Cup pro­mo­tion af­ter a try­ing 2016, con­tin­ued with a clin­i­cal 38-0 dis­man­tling of Avalon.

The six-try bonus-point win was enough to put the blue and whites into third-place in the Shield af­ter their leap-frog­ging Wainui who were bet­tered 29-25 by Ories.

Old Boys Univer­sity, the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons, re­main top of the ta­ble.

The stu­dents earned a sixth straight win when head­ing Marist St Pats 28-20. This leaves them two points clear of the also un­beaten Ories who con­tinue to rue their only stum­ble, the round four draw against Pe­tone.

Mean­while Tawa moved into the vital top eight for a first time with a well-earned 47-24 home win over Pe­tone.

Both Norths and Tawa would have been look­ing for more of the same on Anzac Day against un­fan­cied op­po­si­tion.

On Welling­ton Rugby’s ‘‘Derby Day’’ Tawa were away to a 12th placed John­sonville while Norths were at home against a win­less Pare­mata-Plimmerton.

On the Fraser Park astro on Saturday, Norths came up with dif­fer­ing 19-0 halves to con­firm their im­proved form mid­way through the 13-game shield.

Mike Ioapo, Antony Fox and Parekura Lalaga were an ir­re­press­ible loose forward trio.

They dom­i­nated their op­po­nents the more the game went on and, be­tween them, gath­ered four of their side’s tries.

The big Ioapo scored the first two to set his side away. His trade­mark hard run­ning was a con­stant chal­lenge and a key factor in the wear­ing down of the op­po­si­tion eight.

When Avalon con­ced­ing a penalty try near half-time for de­lib­er­ately col­laps­ing a scrum the game was, in re­al­ity, all over but it was the livewire Fox who de­liv­ered the all-im­por­tant bonus point soon af­ter the sec­ond half got away. He was in­flu­en­tial all game and was de­serv­ing of man of the matvh accolades.

The con­sis­tent Chris Mid­dle­ton was strong and a key com­po­nent in a Norths’ eighth that had too many guns for a brave but still win­less Avalon who, be­cause of the en­ergy sap­ping at­tri­tion, in­creas­ingly strug­gled to keep up with the pace of the game.

Spec­ta­tors at Lyn­d­hurst Park were treated to a try-filled 80 min­utes with Tawa’s third win in a row a bonus point af­fair.

Seven Tawa play­ers grabbed a try each in a free-flow­ing per­for­mance in a game, which with Tawa lead­ing 26-19 at half­time was in the bal­ance un­til Tawa con­jured up three late tries.

Hemi Fer­ma­nis had a im­pos­ing all-round game at lock for Tawa while Pepe­sana Patafilo played with am­bi­tion in the mid­field.

Norths and Tawa, along with the other 12 teams in what is al­ready prov­ing a high qual­ity Swin­dale Shield, will play a third game in eight days on April 29.

With their meet­ing Avalon, even at Fraser Park, Tawa look to have been favoured with the ‘‘luck of the draw’’ in a test­ing time for all teams.

Norths will ap­pre­ci­ate be­ing on their home Jerry Collins Sta­dium for what shapes up as a very im­por­tant en­counter and pos­si­ble sea­son defin­ing en­counter against Wainui.


Poneke flanker Greg Foe is caught by a Welling­ton de­fender in Swin­dale Shield rugby.

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