Norths aim for Ju­bilee Cup re­venge


‘‘MSP's backs were on fire and we fell off the tack­les and paid the price. We were very dis­ap­pointed, to be hon­est.’’

North­ern United will be look­ing for re­venge when they meet Marist St Pats in the Ju­bilee Cup af­ter suf­fer­ing a 36-point loss on Satur­day.

With both teams safely in to the sec­ond round, the 50-14 loss was Norths’ sixth de­feat in a row to MSP.

It is never nice to con­cede 50 points, and man­ager Mike Parker ad­mit­ted his team was never in the hunt af­ter MSP shot out to an early lead.

‘‘The sec­ond half was very one sided. We were very dis­ap­pointed with our de­fence,’’ he said.

‘‘MSP’s backs were on fire and we fell off the tack­les and paid the price. We were very dis­ap­pointed, to be hon­est.’’

Hav­ing made the top eight for the first time since 2012, he sus­pected the play­ers were al­ready think­ing ahead to the sec­ond round.

‘‘I just don’t think our boys were in the right mind­set and may be were feel­ing a bit se­cure and com­fort­able in al­ready be­ing in the Ju­bilee Cup.’’

De­spite the loss, Norths are still not out of the hunt to win the Swin­dale Shield.

Their two re­main­ing games are against Ori­en­tal-Ron­go­tai and Hutt Old Boys Marist. Two bonus point wins would give Norths a shot at the ti­tle and Parker was con­fi­dent the team could lift it­self.

Satur­day was not all doom and gloom, with a num­ber of play­ers per­form­ing strongly.

Parker said cap­tain An­thony Fox had a strong game.

’’He played very well, as he al­ways does.’’

Half­back Esi Ko­maisavi was also prom­i­nent.

‘‘He is re­ally start­ing to de­velop well. This is his first year in premier club rugby out of Ron­go­tai Col­lege.’’

Ball-run­ning num­ber eight Mike Ioapo has been one of their best all sea­son.

Al­though MSP tar­geted him with a big de­fen­sive ef­fort, he still showed some nice touches.

Hav­ing achieved their tar­get of mak­ing the top eight, Parker be­lieved Norths could make their mark in the Ju­bilee Cup.

The teams were very even and he noted that Tawa won the Ju­bilee Cup last year from eighth.

On Satur­day Norths are at home to Ori­en­tal-Ron­go­tai and are look­ing for a good win on old timers’ day.

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