Ao­raki Eels end sea­son with home win

South Canterbury Herald - - MOTORING - BRAY­DEN LIND­SAY

The Ao­raki Eels fin­ished their first South Is­land Rugby League premier­ship sea­son in strong fash­ion with a 33-24 win over the West Coast Charg­ers in Ti­maru.

Ao­raki’s tries came from Josh Rob­son with a dou­ble, Anam Mana, Ai­fala Tael­ega, Ty­rone Hill and Nathan Robin­son, while West Coast scored four of their own on Satur­day.

Ao­raki coach Sonny Ham­mond said it was a great way to end the sea­son.

‘‘Yeah, def­i­nitely we’re happy with the way we man­aged to bounce back from last week­end and play the way we did.’’

He said it was a good re­ward for the team, who had made mas­sive strides since the open­ing round.

‘‘I’m re­ally pleased with the guys. They’ve done re­ally well to get to where they have in their first sea­son.

‘‘It gives us plenty to work with for next year but also shows them what work they need to do to be the top team, and hope­fully I get to take them again.’’

Ham­mond said they played a good style of game against the Coast.

‘‘We hit it up more in the for­wards and that seemed to

‘‘"The Coast were quite a tough, fit team. We had to work hard."’’

work.

‘‘Our big ball run­ners, Tom Flem­ing, Anam Mana and John Si­mon, re­ally gave us some much­needed go for­ward.

‘‘The Coast were quite a tough, fit team. We had to work hard.’’

He said a num­ber of play­ers had taken their chances and de­served a place in the South­ern Scor­pi­ons if the op­por­tu­nity came about.

Ham­mond said Mana, Si­mon and Flem­ing played well, while out­side back Rob­son has been one of their best this sea­son.

‘‘I men­tioned the South­land game and how a win there could’ve won us the ti­tle, but I wanted the guys to think more about how good the sea­son has been.’’

The vic­tory se­cured Ao­raki se­cond place over­all, af­ter they fin­ished with two wins, a draw and a loss.

Hill was the first to score for the Eels af­ter find­ing space off a short ball from Nathan Robin­son.

Rob­son made it 10-0 when he out­sprinted his West Coast op­po­site to score off a Robin­son kick.

They were in again soon af­ter when Tael­ega bull­dozed over.

A show-and-go from Robin­son made it 22-0, be­fore West Coast hit back with a try on half­time.

West Coast outscored the Eels 18-11 in the se­cond half.

Eels play­maker Robin­son man­aged the rare feat of scor­ing by ev­ery pos­si­ble method, via a try, three con­ver­sions, a penalty goal and a field goal.

Otago won the com­pe­ti­tion with a 76-16 drub­bing of the Tas­man Ti­tans.

PHOTO: DOUG FIELD/STUFF

Ai­fala Tealega, of the Ao­raki Eels, hits the ball up against the West Coast Charg­ers at Ash­bury Park.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.