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The second half of New Zealand's Bartercard Cup turned out of couple of interesting results, especially down in Tauranga when top of the table Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions were fortunate not to lose to the Glenora Bears.
First up on Saturday afternoon, the Eastern Tornadoes had no trouble putting away the visiting Central Falcons by 54- 18.
A tough first half for both sides saw the score close at the break with the Tornadoes holding onto a narrow lead of just 20-18. The flood gates opening against the visiting side as the Tornadoes found their mark and piled on 34 unanswered points in the second half. Justin Murphy playing at fullback for the Tornadoes may have put his hand up for reselection for the hapless Warriors as has Herewini Rangi .
Eastern Tornadoes 54 Tries: J. Murphy, T. Walter-Benedito, Z. Luisi, L. Lafaele, H. Rangi, N. Ngametua (2), S. Moala (3) Goals: H. Rangi (7) defeated Central Falcons 18 Tries: S. Tavita, M. Whakatihi, G. Kerrisk, J. Watson Goal: T. Clune
The small but vocal crowd at Tauranga Domain were treated to some heart in mouth league as the local side Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions seemingly had the game in the bag with a handy 22-8 halftime lead, only to completely go to sleep defensively allowing the Bears to almost take the match. In the 78h minute, with the game locked up at 28 all, the Glenora side piled on the pressure with one man sin-binned and scored what seemed to be the match winning try. The Stallions, with coach Nikau yelling from the sideline, gave it one last effort and right on the buzzer nailed a try in the corner. With Karena's kicking on song, the pressure was on him to lock up the match with the conversion, and this he did. A great finish to a tough game in which Glenora's never say die attitude certainly giving the Bartercard Cup frontrunners a much needed wake-up call.
Waicoa Bay Stallions 34 Tries: B. Ingram, J. Kahu, H. Wilson, B. Wahanga, V. Moana-Mason (2) Goals: H. Karena (5) drew with Glenora Bears 34 Tries : S. Ieremia, H. Godinet, A. Iole (2), K. Edmondson (2) Goals: T. Toailoa (1), S. Ieremia (4)
The curtain raiser to the Warriors/Sea Eagles match turned into your typical game of two halves, much like the NRL game following it. With the Hibiscus Coast Raiders down 12 men from last year's team, the first half looked to be the renaissance of their winning formula. Daniel Floyd's flat passing in the five-eighth role had the desired effect as close to the line the Raiders scored their only 2 tries.
Unfortunately they couldn't carry it on into the second half as their lead of 14-10 at the break, was quickly overtaken by a rampant scoring Wellington pack looking like they'd had a shot of nitro at halftime. The Wellington side went on to score 32 unanswered points in a fine display of commitment and enthusiasm. Simon Mannering, the lanky Wellington second rower, had signed with the Warriors prior to the match. A fine display right across the park from the Wellington side, with bucket loads of youth in the side, showing they will certainly be a force in 2004.
Wellington 42 Tries: T. Lavulavu, J. Carnegie, D. Hape, J. Parekura, J. McDonald (2), V. Manu (2) Goals: J. McDonald (5) defeated Hibiscus Coast Raiders 14 Tries: W. Henare, O. Manuel, R. Gilmore Goal: D. Floyd (1)
Round 4 (split round) at a glance:
Saturday 8 May 2004:
Otahuhu Ellerslie 32 - Canterbury Bulls 30
Sunday 9 May 2004:
Mt Albert Lions 42 - Counties Manukau Jets 20
North Harbour Tigers 26 - Marist Richmond Brothers 18
Saturday 15 May 2204:
Waicoa Bay Stallions 34 - Glenora Bears 34
Sunday 9 May 2004:
Wellington 42 - Hibiscus Coast Raiders 14
BARTERCARD CUP - ROUND 5 FIXTURES
Saturday 22 May 2004
Canterbury Bulls vs Wellington Rugby League Park, Christchurch 6.00 pm Kick Off
Sunday 23 May 2004