Last years champions Canterbury Bulls have lost to the ever improving Otahuhu Ellerslie 32-30 at Ericsson no 2 yesterday. After trailing 32-12 at half time, the Bulls staged a late come back only to fall two points short by the final whistle.
Otahuhu led 26-0 after only 20 mins, the Bulls didnt even get their hands on the ball untill it was 10-0 in arrears. Leuluai led the play behind a forward pack that were in total control and brutal. Hooker Frostie Tikinau was on fire in the first half, making huge yardage from dummy half with his acceleration and toughness.
After last week?s 54-4 demolition on Mt Albert Lions, the Bulls were expected to win easily against the James Leuluai coached team. But the Bulls only turned up to play in the second half after being blown away in the first half. It was the second win of the season for Otahuhu, who with discarded Warrior and Kiwi Thomas Leuluai are charging their way up the table as they look to make the top four after missing out last year.
Both teams now have to wait two weeks until their next match which will see Otahuhu face top of the table Counties Jets, while the Bulls head back home to take on Wellington.
Otahuhu Ellerslie 32 P. Atken, D. Fisiahi, P. Fisiahi 2, J. Tavaga, S. Faitala tries R. Johnson 4 goals
Canterbury Bulls 30 R. Martin, A. Auimatagi, S. Wallace, C. Newton 2 tries M. Clarkson 5 goals
Halftime 32 - 12 to Otahuhu/Ellerslie
Team: P. Atken, S. Metcalf, D. Fisiiahi, P. Fisiiahi, J. Tavaga, J. Yandall, T. Leuluai, S. Faitala (C), F. Tikinau, A. Fausa, T. Frost, M. Langdon, R. Johnson Reserves: G. Va'afusaga, S. Tueafo, F. Tupou, F. Nuuausala
Team: J. McDonald, P. McDonald, R. Martin, J. Manning, R. Hanson, A. Harris (C), M. Clarkson, V. Whare, A. Auimatagi, K. Ferris, S. Wallace, P. Asi, C. Lawrie Reserves: C. Newton, B. Taylor, A. Timo, T. Pelenise