Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
Lion Red Fox Memorial A last minute try to wing Sunita Laiseni has given Papakura a 24-20 win over Te Atatu in what was a fantastic game at Jack Colvin. The Roosters will curse missed opportunities having led by two tries with ten minutes remaining. Centre Tristan Waipouri sparked the comeback for the Sea Eagles with a well timed intercept to level the scores at 20-20. With little over a minute left on the clock, man of the match Solomone Foketi set up the winning try from 60 metres out. Foketi beat two defenders in confined space before drawing the fullback and passing to Laiseni for an emphatic victory. Playing at centre, Foketi made valuable yards all day and scored a great try in what was a memorable performance. Barracudas centre Luke Watts scored a match winning hatrick in East Coast Bays 37-30 win over Richmond. A quick step and strong fend helped Watts grab three tries in the Roope Rooster victory. His side will now be asked to defend the Roope Rooster for the remainder of the season with the next match scheduled for July 21st against Papakura at Freyberg Park. Johnnie Veutibau has once again impressed for Manurewa in their second straight win. The second rower made 34 tackles in a hard fought 26-16 win over Marist at Leabank Park. Marlins captain and hooker Songi Tupou also played a major role in the victory, leading by example with 30 plus tackles and a brilliant individual try. Manurewa led 14-12 at the split and fronted the second half with a dominant defensive effort. The Marlins had a handful of players who made over 30 tackles with winger Jason Morheu another who starred in the win. The Otahuhu Leopards have moved to outright third with a gutsy 36-20 win over Glenora at Henham Park. The Leopards were dangerous on attack with centre pairing Shaun Rawiri and Isaako Hagiatoa both having strong games. Rawiri scored two tries for the home side and Hagiatoa crossed for one. Otahuhu are placed behind Papakura and Richmond who are level on 12 competition points.
The Mangere East Hawks came from behind to beat the Otara Scorpions 26-18 in front of a solid crowd at Walter Massey. The Hawks were down 16-12 at half time and clawed their way back thanks in large to an outstanding game by fullback Damian Tangata who scored a double. Tangata was well supported by centre Leauma Sione who also crossed the line for two.
The Howick Hornets managed to draw with competition favourites Mount Albert 16-16 in a great game of footy at Fowlds Park. The Lions struggled to contain the Hornets who played much better than their record suggests.
The Point Chevalier Pirates have upset competition leaders the Ponsonby Ponies with a heroic 18-16 win at Cox