Orcas beat Mustangs to boost promotion hopes
A good first half lesson in how to play in wet and muddy conditions allowed the Wellington Orcas to overcome the Manawatu Mustangs 48-10 at Wise Park on Saturday.
The win allows the Orcas to advance to the next stage in their quest to regain first division status by meeting Bay of Plenty at home in a fortnight’s time, followed by other fixtures, which at present are unknown as the southern zone competition is still being played among five South Island provinces.
Wellington coach Peter Rikiriki was reasonably happy following fulltime, though he felt his side has still got areas to work on.
‘‘We had a good first half to lead 34-0 at halftime, but it was a tactical error on my part in the second half that allowed Manawatu to come back after I brought in some substitution and position changes to see how well they would be tested,’’ he said. ‘‘Clearly that did not work because we only just won the second half 14-10 after dropping our intensity and making some basic errors, which allowed Manawatu to come back.’’
Wellington scored nine tries including a brace to prop Jeremy McKee, while fullback Aaron Whitikia picked up six conversions.
Wellington hooker Satch Pryor, loose forward Teariki Peneha, barging second row Ulai Oti and pivot Bronson Marino on his 28th birthday were also instrumental around the win over an opposition that was not only smaller, but was missing some key players.
(Jeremy McKee 2, David Saumolia, Jon Marc Stowers, Tony Sukroo, Bronson Marino, Teariki Peneha, Kahura Cameron, John-Stephen Skinnon tries; Aaron Whitikia 6 goals) (Johnny Kerrisk, Jahlon Governor tries; Haimona Young goal). Halftime: 34-0.
Wellington 48 Manawatu 10