Crowns Take Out NJC Derby At North
Harbour Stadium

Auckland Crowns sides in both Foundation Cup and Kiwi Cup consolidated their positions at the top of the table in the Lion Foundation National Junior Competition at North Harbour Stadium today. In hot and sunny conditions both teams comprehensively beat their South Auckland rivals, the Sea Lions,in a much anticipated local derby. In a very entertaining Foundation Cup game, both teams arm wrestled for the first ten minutes, before gun young half-back, Sioeli Makaui, crossed for the Crowns. His halves partner, Jody Henry, converted and the game was well and truly on. About eight minutes later, Sea Lion's winger, Kelo Tuitavake, claimed their first points. The Crowns began to take the edge in the game, scoring twice more beforethe break, with halves Henry and Makaui both dotting down. Half time saw the score board reading 14/4. The Sea Lions had played ok, but ball retention ( of lack thereof ) was causing their downfall and the Crowns had scored twice through dropped ball. The Crowns were looking the better side. The second half saw a fairly scrappy start with the Sea Lions getting a couple of easily gained sets upnear the Crowns line. The Crowns defence was strong and they were able to withstand back to back sets and eventually work the ball up and perform a brilliant back move that saw half back, Makaui,involved three times, allow winger, Dylan Holtom to score in the corner. A try to second rower, ConstantineMika, about four minutes later saw the score blow out to 22/4. Sea Lions stand-off, Ronnie Va'asa grabbed one back, but the game was pretty much gone by then. One last try to the Crowns and a late consolation to the Seal Lions saw it end up 28/16 to the Crowns. This Crowns U16's side is the best Foundation Cup team I have seen since the inception of this competition in 2002. I can't see them being beaten and Coach, Frank Harold, must be a happy man to have so much talent to work with. The Kiwi Cup game, by comparison, was a major anti-climax. The game saw a fairly physical start, but it was not long before the Crowns claimed first blood through centre, Cooper Vuna. Sea Lions winger, Miguel Start, scored the first his team, but a fair procession of tries to the Crowns saw half-time at 20/8. There had been some good individual play from guys in both teams but it had been less than entertaining.The second half was much of the same, it seemed lumbering. Five tries were scored in the half, three to the Crowns and two to the Sea Lions and it finished up 38/18 to the Crowns. There were no real stand outs but Aaron Pawley and Paki Ormsby from the Crowns deserve a mention and winger, Solman Foki, had a good run for the Sea Lions.

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