Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
3 days ago
The Jim Beam Cup team has scraped past an Auckland Selection team 46-30 tonight at Ericsson Stadium number 2. With no promotion of the game, it was a little surprise only 120 people turned up to watch what turned out to be a very entertaining match.
With 10 Auckland players unavailable for selection due to New Zealand A commitments, the Auckland Selection side were always going to up against it.
Auckland lost prop Kurt Cawdrow after only 10 minutes after falling awkwardly in a tackle, and with Auckland?s fitness in question a player down after 10 minutes was going to test the two remaining forwards on the bench.
The scores were locked up at 12 all at half time due to a try on the half time siren to Wentworthville Magpies player Adam Capovilla. The first half represented how evenly matched the two teams were, playing a good standard of tough fast football.
After the break, the Jim Beam Cup side came out all guns blazing and two quick tries to Brian Tritton and Troy Robinson to take the lead 22-12.
Several minutes later Anthony Swann scored from 30 metres out to keep Auckland in touch at 22-18.
The following five minutes of the match produced a bizarre turn of events, with three tries coming from the re starts.
A mistake from the re start saw the Jim Beam Cup side hot on attack, with halfback Adam Tippett scoring a simple try under the post. Craig Tindall converted to extend their lead back out to 10 points.
Remarkably the Jim Beam Cup side also fumbled from the re start, giving Auckland an attacking scrum 20 metres out from the line. From the scrum, full back Jan Tiavale hit the ball at speed and stepped two players to score a brilliant individual try by the post. Glenn Rota kept his 100% kicking rate by knocking it over to claw back the score to 28-24.
From the kick off, outstanding Auckland forward Karl Guttenbiel made a 30 metre break before offloading to replacement winger Karl Johnson. Johnson ran past two defenders while flirting with the touch line to score Aucklands second try in 90 seconds. Glen Rota kicked his 5th goal of the night to give Auckland a 30-28 lead.
With time ticking away, the Jim Beam Cup side scored through half back Adam Tippett to give them a narrow 34-30 lead.
Auckland soon after bombed what looked to be a certain try following an intercept from their own goal line. From that mistake, the Jim Beam Cup side built up the pressure before piling on two tries in the last three minutes to blow the score out to 46-30.
It was a much needed hit out for the Jim Beam Cup Side, with all but two of their players named to play against a very strong New Zealand A side on Saturday evening. Tito Nuimata went on a one man wrecking machine, pulling off some incredible hits, while lock Adam Capovilla caused the Aucklanders lots of trouble with his off loading ability. Half Adam Tippett was suburb on attack, while replacement Craig Tindall was simply outstanding at converting the tries.
Many players stood up for the Auckland selection side, most notable was Odel Manual, Jan Tiavale, Karl Guttenbiel and replacement Jason Kamirera. Glen Rota kicked five from five and led the pack well. Both wingers Tangi Ropati and Misi Taulapapa got amongst the action with lots of solid runs, and cleaned up well on defence.
Referee Craig Pascoe controlled the match extremely well, keeping the sides apart and the game free flowing.
The Jim Beam Cup will now look forward to the curtain rasier to the Kiwis v Kangaroos test match on Saturday, against a very large New Zealand A team.
Jim Beam Cup Side 46
Dean Loder, Adam Capovilla, Brian Tritton, Troy Robinson (2), Adam Tippett (2), Brett Finn tries Adam Tippett (3) Craig Tindall (4) goals
Jason Kamirera, Odel Manuel, Anthony Swann, Jan Tiavale, Karl Johnson tries
Glenn Rota (5) goals
courtesy of http://www.rugbyleaguenz.com