OTAHUHU Ellerslie defeated the Glenora Bears, 30/22, at Trust Stadium Waitakere today.
NZRL Bartercard Cup Round 7 kicks off tomorrow with only four points separating the top eight teams. The Lions, Bulls and the Jetz head the table, followed closely by the Tigers, Brothers, Raiders, Wellington and the Falcons.
THIS weekend sees the midway point in the NZRL Bartercard Cup Competition and a quick glance at the table shows at least a Top 4 taking shape.
THIS weekend?s Bartercard Cup action kicks off tomorrow with three games in Auckland and one in Greymouth.
THE Mt Albert Lions, today consolidated their position at the top of the Bartercard Cup table with a convincing second half romp over the Waicoa Bay Stallions, running out victors, 44/18.
The first half however was a different story, with the Stallions taking the game to the Lions and really testing them. It looked at the start that it was going to be an easy one for the home side.
Five minutes in and they were up 12/0, thanks to tries to Fabian Souter and Loose Forward, Paul Fisi'iahi, both converted by Steve Buckingham.
The Stallions regrouped fairly hurriedly though, and seven minutes later, posted their first points through a try to Centre, Michael Moore, following a penalty and a scrum feed up near the Lions line. Te Teira Davis converted and they were well and truly back in the ball game.
For a very long period of play, Waicoa were camped well inside the Lions half. Time and time again they attacked the Mt Albert line but the Lions defence was good. Eight minutes to go and the Lions were getting close to going in. Te Teira Davis swooped on a long pass, scampered 80 metres and scored under the sticks. He converted his own effort and it was 12 all. Virtually on the hooter and Fisi'iasi went in for his second try. Buckingham converted and we went to the break at 18/12 to Mt Albert.
This game wasn't exactly going to plan. Someone had obviously forgotten to give Waicoa Bay the script. Forty minutes to go though, and this Lions side is a classy outfit.
Sure enough, first Lions set and speedster, Robinson Godfrey, scores for Mt Albert. Minutes later, young Stallions star, Te Teira Davis scores and converts, 24/18 to the Lions and the parochial crowd is getting really nervous.
No cause for alarm though as, in an amazing passage of play, Mt Albert Loose Forward, Paul Fisi'iasi scored another three tries, to bring his total for the match to five. I haven't checked the records at time of writing but this must be close. That effort just blew the Stallions right off Fowlds Park.
A final try to the Lions through number 15, Seni Pate, following a great run and gift pass from Pat Ah Van, sealed it up at 44/18.
The class of the Lions and Fisi'iasi got them home in the end but the Stallions proved just how competitive they can be. Had they played any team but the Lions today, they would have gone home with the points.
FOWLDS Park Auckland, home to the Mt Albert Lions, is the only park on Saturday to catch some Bartercard Cup action.
WEEK two of split Round 5 of the Bartercard Cup kicks off this evening at Massey Park, Papakura, where the Jetz take on the Wellington franchise. The Jetz are going along very well and should move up the table tonight, with the home crowd providing plenty of motivation.
HIBISCUS Coast Raiders regained the Ted Dalton Memorial Cup today at North Harbour Stadium when they defeated the North Harbour Tigers in round 4 of the NZRL Bartercard Cup.
FINE and warm at Auckland's Ericcson today where current Bartercard Cup holders, Mt Albert, took on the Otahuhu/Ellerslie franchise in the curtain raiser to the Warriors Penrith clash.
COUNTIES Manukau Jetz defeated the Eastern Tornadoes, 44/14, at Ericsson Stadium in the curtain raiser to the Warriors / Wests Tigers game.