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Round 13 of New Zealand's Bartercard Cup competition handed out a few surprises with some of the top five teams getting a bit of a nudge from lower placed clubs. High scores seemed to be the nature of the beast as tries came thick and fast all weekend.
BARTERCARD CUP RESULTS - ROUND 13
Saturday 31 July 2004
The Mt Albert Lions once again cemented their 2nd place on the competition ladder as they beat the visiting Counties Manakau Jets in great conditions at Fowlds Park by 40-20. Steve Buckingham for the Lions showing his worth with the boot once more.
Hibiscus Coast Raiders have finally finished off a game with 2 competition points when they defeated the Central Falcons at Whangaparoa by 38-26.
The Falcons scored very early in the match and looked set to come away with the win. However we finally got to see some of that Raiders magic that's been missing in 2004 at Stanmore Park as the Raiders fought their way to a 38-26 victory over the visitors.
Victory for Wellington over the Glenora Bears left them still in sixth place, one point away from the top five they need to be in the playoffs with three regular season matches remaining. After initially being 14-0 down early in the game, the Bears fought back well to have the scores locked up at 20 all after 52 minutes of the match.
Wellington then dug in their heels and literally ran away with the match.
Next Saturday's game against the 2003 champions, Canterbury at Wise Park is another must win. Wellington will be without five youngsters Simon Mannering, Viliami Manu, Josh Davis, John Te Reo, and Isaac Luke for the next two weekends.
They will be playing for the Junior Kiwis in Auckland against the England U18 academy on Sunday afternoon at North Harbour Stadium.
Wellington vs Glenora Bears, Wise Park, Wellington.
A 17 match unbeaten home record for the Canterbury Bulls was ended by Otahuhu Ellerslie on Saturday night in Christchurch when the visitors defeated last year's Bartercard Cup winners by 28-22. It was the fifth placed Bulls' third consecutive loss.
The fumbles which turned over possession and the missed tackles enabled Otahuhu Ellerslie to skip out to a 16-0 lead could not be nullified by a late scoring surge by the Bulls from 12-28 down with 9 minutes remaining. Otahuhu Ellerslie looked impressive helped in part by the experience of Thomas Leuluai.
Otahuhu Ellerslie coach James Leuluai expects his side to be strengthened for the play-offs by the return of Warriors centre Manu Vatuvei and New Zealand A forwards Sinave Faitala and Frank-Paul Nuuausala. Vatuvei and Nuuausala are in camp with the Junior Kiwis.
Canterbury Bulls vs Otahuhu-Ellerslie, Rugby League Park , Christchurch.
Halftime Score 16 - 6 to Otahuhu - Ellerslie
Marist Richmond Brothers have shown their strength and commitment right across the park when they trampled the Eastern Tornadoes by 54-10 on Sunday afternoon. The Brothers now have a three point buffer at the top of the table with only 3 rounds remaining in the competition before the play-offs.
The Tornadoes still have a slim chance of making the Top 5, being only 3 points behind the fifth place team, if they come home strong in the remaining rounds.
Eastern Manukau Tornadoes vs Marist Richmond Brothers, Ericcson Two , Auckland
Marist Richmond Brothers 54 J. Tiavale, G. Rota, M. France, K. Guttenbeil, E. Leavai, G. Rota, R. Henry (2) , M. Taulapapa (2) Tries G. Rota , (7) Conversions.
Halftime Score : 22-nil to Marist Richmond Brothers
Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions, the leaders early in the competition finally ended their 7 loss losing streak when they travelled up to Albany and defeated the North Harbour Tigers on their home turf by 46-34. The Tigers making current position as fourth on the table just that little bit unstable after the loss.
After a halftime lead of just 2 points, and with the game locked up at 28 all the Stallions started a run of 16 unanswered points midway through the half that sealed the win.
North Harbour vs Waicoa Bay Stallions, North Harbour Stadium, Auckland.
Halftime 18 - 16 to Waicoa Bay Stallions
The visiting English lads gave the home town Auckland U18's a good old fashioned lesson in playing for the full eighty minutes when the two sides met on Sunday afternoon at North Harbour Stadium.
A good workout for the visitors as they are set to take on the Junior Kiwis next Sunday afternoon at Albany.
Auckland U/18s vs England Academy 18s, North Harbour Stadium, Auckland.
BARTERCARD CUP FIXTURES - ROUND 14
Saturday 7 August 2004
International Test Match - Junior Kiwi's vs England U18 Academy North Harbour Stadium, Auckland 4.00pm Kick Off