A complete turnaround is the only way to describe the Manurewa Marlins 52-18 win over the Richmond Rovers. Manurewa showed skill, composure and courage in their drubbing of the Rovers.
The Marlins lead 32-10 at halftime and never looked like giving it up. Marlins fullback Bruce Anderson got a double and was dangerous with every touch, whilst lock forward Willie Heta never stopped running hard at the line.
Both half Aaron Woodhouse and hooker Chaise Woodhouse had strong games in distributing the ball and running the plays for Manurewa. Halfback Aaron leading the way, scoring two tries and kicking four goals for the Marlins.
Everything went unstuck for Richmond, the passes, grubbers and chip kicks all not coming off for the Rovers. No more so than with 5 minutes to go when Richmond half Graham Bennett chipped into space only for Marlins fullback Anderson to recover the ball miraculously, step a defender and run 70 metres to score. The try highlighted the Rovers bad day and left them asking, what had changed since last weeks 38-20 win over the same team.
The win means Manurewa now face Mt Albert after their 17-16 loss to Mangere East in the other preliminary final.
In the first half Mangere East did everything but finish. The Hawks created many chances only to have the last pass go down or the ball held up.
But it was the Lions who struck first, fullback Savi Hafoka cutting back on the play, stepping and breaking the line, the speedy outside back got the angle on the Hawks fullback and swerved around him to score from 50 metres out in the 32nd minute. Captain Graham Rattenbury converted to make it 6-0.
With two minutes to go in the half, Mangere East utility Tone Taula made an outstanding dash down the sideline beating around six Lions players and finally getting caught 15 meters out. The Hawks took one play to the left and then came back to the right. After some clever interplay, Hawks stand-off Tumanako Boyce scored 10 metres to the right of the posts and converted his own try. The scores were tied at six a piece at the break.
In the second half Mangere went up early with a couple of good team tries to Saimone Makahili. But with 10 minutes to go Mt Albert scored to make it 16-12 to Mangere.
The Hawks nabbed a drop goal through Boyce to extend the margin to five points and the score to 17-12.
But it was Mt Albert who weren?t finished, half Jack Noble scoring right on the final whistle. The Lions needed the kick for the win, but Rattenbury missed and last years champions were defeated.
Results from the weekend's matches:
PREMIERSHIP SEMI FINAL AND JUNIOR GRAND FINAL RESULTS Saturday 27 August
SUBURBAN NEWSPAPERS SHARMAN CUP - MINOR SEMI FINALS
Howick Hornets 26 Marist Saints 16 Bay Roskill Vikings 29 Ellerslie Eagles 22
JUNIOR GRAND FINALS
U/13 Pennant Northcote 38 Ponsonby 14 U/13 Championship Otahuhu Rovers 18 Mangere East Mighyhawks 05 U/13-14 Restricted Hibiscus Coast 32 Waiheke 04 U/14 Pennant Glenora Grizzlies 30 Papakura Sea Eagles 26
U/14 Championship Mangere East Steelhawks 18 Otahuhu Black Pride 06
PHELAN SHIELD PREMIERSHIP - GRAND FINAL
Northcote Tigers 28 Papatoetoe Panthers 26
PREMIERSHIP SEMI FINAL AND JUNIOR GRAND FINAL RESULTS Sunday 28 August
MAD BUTCHER FOX MEMORIAL CHAMPIONSHIP - MINOR SEMI FINALS
Manurewa Marlins 52 Richmond Rovers 18 Mangere East Hawks 17 Mt Albert Lions 16
JUNIOR GRAND FINALS
U/15 Pennant Otahuhu Blue 34 Northcote 16 U/15 Championship Mangere East Redhawks 18 Marist 14 U/15-16 Restricted Glenora 24 Howick 8 U/16 Pennant Marist/New Lynn 24 Pakuranga Rebels 18 U/16 Championship Pakuranga Hurricanes 30 Otahuhu Gold 26
AUCKLAND RUGBY LEAGUE INC DRAW BY GRADE SATURDAY 3rd SEPTEMBER 2005 BARTERCARD CUP ? minor semi-final Counties Manukau Jetz v North Harbour Tigers Ericsson Stadium 2.30pm MAD BUTCHER FOX MEMORIAL ? minor semi final Mt Albert v Manurewa Ericsson Stadium 12.45pm FOX MEMORIAL PREMIER FIRST ? minor semi-finals Manurewa v Mt Albert Leabank Park 2.30pm Richmond v Te Atatu Grey Lynn Pk 2 2.30pm SUBURBAN NEWSPAPERS SHARMAN CUP ? major semi-final Howick to the final Marist v Bay Roskill Halberg Park 2.30pm SHARMAN CUP PREMIER FIRST ? major semi-final Ellerslie to the final Bay Roskill v Marist Blockhouse Bay 2.30pm PREMIER 2ND CHAMPIONSHIP SECTION ? GRAND FINAL Richmond Alii v Richmond Bulldogs Ericsson No 2 2.30pm PREMIER 2ND PENANT SECTION ? GRAND FINAL Rodney Rams v Te Atatu Forces Ericsson No 2 12.30pm UNDER 18 OPEN ? GRAND FINAL Otara Tornadoes v Manurewa Marlins Ercisson No 2 10.30am
AUCKLAND RUGBY LEAGUE INC DRAW BY GRADE SUNDAY 4th SEPTEMBER 2005
BARTERCARD CUP ? minor semi-final Mt Albert Lions v Canterbury Bulls Ericsson Stadium 2.30pm MAD BUTCHER FOX MEMORIAL PREMIERSHIP ? minor semi-final Papakura v Mangere East Ericsson Stadium 12.45pm OPEN AGE RESTRICTED ? GRAND FINAL Waiheke v Mangere East Ericsson No 2 2.30pm WOMENS CHAMPIONSHIP ? GRAND FINAL Richmond v Papakura/Otahuhu Ericsson No 2 12.30pm UNDER 17 OPEN ? GRAND FINAL Ponsonby/Mt Albert v Otahuhu South Ericsson No 2 10.30am