Canterbury Bulls have reached their third grand final in six seasons of New Zealand's Bartercard Cup rugby league competition, defeating last year's champions Mt Albert, by 34-24 yesterday afternoon at Ericsson Stadium.
Travelling up to Auckland proved fruitful as they finally beat the Lions after 3 attempts this year.
A quick start and confident finish for the Bulls proved to be the undoing of a sometime sluggish looking Lions pack which seemed to take a while to get into the match.
The Lions will now have to face Counties Manukau Jets next weekend in the major semi-final.
In a somewhat scrappy match, the Jets knocked the Tigers out of the 2005 competition on Saturday afternoon when the Counties side won by 32-30. A late try to the Jets sealing the victory in a very close encounter.
Bartercard Cup results:
Saturday 3 September 2005
Counties Manukau Jetz vs North Harbour Tigers Ericsson Stadium No.1, Auckland
Counties Manukau Jetz 32 S. Fai (2), L. Moala, M. Suniula, C. Wade, F. Perese tries L.Tamatoa (4) goals
North Harbour Tigers 30 K.Ganley (2), J.Golf, K. Guttenbeil, R.Henry tries J.Trott (5) goals
Halftime Score: 16-12 to Nth Harbour
Sunday 4 September 2005
Mt Albert Lions vs Canterbury Bulls Ericsson Stadium No.1, Auckland
Canterbury Bulls 34 K. Manihera, L. Tamakaha, J. Ward, C. Newton (2) : Tries J. O?Brien (7) : Goals
Mt Albert Lions 24 P. Ah Van, P. Fisi?iahi, M. Asaou (2) : Tries S. Buckingham (4) : Goals
Halftime Score: 16 ? 12 To Canterbury Bulls