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.