Ahead of kickoff tonight, check out Rick Edgerton's preview of the second #Origin clash.
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Positions have now been sorted in New Zealand's Bartercard Cup competition following the end of the Rounds leading to the semis starting next weekend. Canterbury Bulls have earned themselves a week's grace after finishing top of the table.
The first game in Round 16 was on Friday night between the North Harbour Tigers and the Eastern Tornadoes. The Tornadoes were the victors by 32-10 and earned themselves 5th spot on the ladder. They come up against the Hibiscus Coast Raiders next weekend.
Nth Harbour Tigers 10 G. Macpherson, J. Duff tries R. Retimana goal defeated by Eastern Tornadoes 32 G. Tupou, N. Ngametua, R. Gentles, J. Pai, A. Fausau tries J. Noble 5, J. Pai goals
Halftime: 10 - 20 to Eastern Tornadoes
Marist Richmond Brothers moved up the third spot on the competition ladder after a fine win over the Manuwera Marlins, 44-36. The Marlins had a lot of pride at stake and with a narrow lead of 24-20 at the break, looked set to open up in the second half. Both sides gave it their best in what turned out to be a high scoring match.
Marist Richmond Brothers 44 R. Henry, S. Makisi 2, B. Collins 2, G. Rota, E. Tuimavave, M. France, D. Wilson tries T. Ropati 2, E. Tuimavave, J. Kellet goals defeated Manurewa Marlins 36 W. Hati 2, M. Suniula 2, P. Borell 2 tries T. Pamatangi 6 goals
Halftime 20 - 24 to Manurewa Marlins
The Central Falcons travelled north to Auckland and went down to the Otahuhu Leopards by 38-20. Although this match had no bearing on the Top 5 positions, both teams gave it their best shot in their final game of 2003.
Otahuhu Leopards 38 T. Laiseni, P. Tafea 2, B. Nelson, M. Vatuvei 2,J. Yandell, M. Vili tries T. Laiseni 3 goals defeated Central Falcons 20 S. Forbes 2, J. Te vaga, J. Royal tries B. Hekenui 2 goals
Halftime 22 - 16 to Otahuhu Leopards
The Glenora Bears finished the 2003 season on a high note beating the visiting Taranaki Wildcats by 42-18. A handy lead at halftime, 24-8 helped to Bears through to their victory. The Wildcats have been a little out of their depth in the competition, but can only learn from the experience and come back stronger.
Glenora Bears 42 T. Faapito, A. Iole, Tila Toailoa, S. Halatoa, W. Bernard, M. Toelau, K. Edmondson 2, C. Nahu tries T. Samoa 2, L. Tamatoa goals defeated Taranaki Wildcats 18 J. Enoka, P. HeiHei 2, A. Hoskin tries S. Hoskin goal
Halftime 24 - 8 to Glenora Bears
A disappointing result for the Hibiscus Coast Raiders and fans at Stanmore Bay on Sunday when the team went down to last year's Bartercard Cup champions, the Mt Albert Lions. The Raiders having topped the ladder for most of this year's competition seem to have faltered a little and now find themselves in 4th spot on the table. They play the Eastern Tornadoes next week in the semi. On the other hand, the Lions are starting to look the champions that they are and Marist will have to be totally on their game to defeat the Mt Albert side.
Hibiscus Coast Raiders 8 D. Tepu, D. Fisher tries defeated by Mt Albert Lions 28 A. Bauer, A. Ikihele 2, S. Buckingham tries B. Lythe 6 goals
Halftime 4 - 16 to Mt Albert Lions
Canterbury Bulls have earned themselves top position in this year's competition with a exciting victory over Wellington in what was the match of the round. 19 tries in all were scored in the game, certainly one for the spectators. Wellington now bow out of the competition whereas the Bulls get a well deserved break for a week watching the semis.
Canterbury Bulls 60 L. Sione 4, C. Herekotukutuku, A. Harris, C. Lawrie 2, C. Newton, R. Martin, K. Ferris tries J. O"Brien 8 Goals defeated Wellington 42 V. Apula, S. Helu, N. Taumoli, J. Tamanika 2, R. Leafe 2, J. Limmer tries J. Monu 5 goals
Halftime 32 - 14 to Canterbury Bulls
Round 16 results at a glance. Aug 15th - 17th:
Eastern Tornadoes 32 - Nth Harbour Tigers 10
Marist Richmond Brothers 44 - Manurewa Marlins 36
Otahuhu Leopards 38 - Central Falcons 20
Glenora Bears 42 - Taranaki Wildcats 18
Mt Albert Lions 28 - Hibiscus Coast Raiders 8
Canterbury Bulls 60 - Wellington 42
The official Top 5:
CANTERBURY BULLS Mt Albert Lions Marist Richmond Brothers Hibiscus Coast Raiders Eastern Tornadoes
Next Week : Canterbury Bulls Bye Mt Albert Lions vs Marist Richmond Brothers Hibiscus Coast Raiders vs Eastern Tornadoes