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Round 9 of New Zealand's Bartercard Cup went pretty much to form for the first time this year. The Top 5 are standing to stamp their mark on the positions however as the competition has shown in 2004, no team can get complacent or they will be punished on the scoreboard.
BARTERCARD CUP - ROUND 9 RESULTS:
Saturday 26 June 2004
First up on Saturday afternoon the Mt Albert Lions showed once again that they are a force to be reckoned with as we head into the later stages of the 2004 competition. A fine display from Warriors prop Mark Tookey saw him pick up two tries at Stanmore Bay Reserve as the Lions dealt to the Hisbiscus Coast Raiders by 42-6.
A solid performance right across the park by the Mt Albert side as the Raiders just had no answers on the day and are firmly seated at the bottom of the table. Mt Albert hold their 2nd spot just one point shy of the leaders Marist Richmond Brothers.
Under the guidance of Duanne Mann, due to coach Peter Sixtus having to pull out for personal reasons, the Central Falcons gave competition leaders Marist Richmond Brothers a real scare when they travelled up to Auckland for Saturday afternoon's match.
A shell shocked Marist side saw them down 3 tries in the first twenty minutes only to finally regather some composure by the break to be down by just 14-10. The talk at the break worked for the Brothers as they came out firing and went on to win the game comfortably by 28-18, with the Falcons scoring a try in the latter stages of the game.
Unfortunately for the Central Falcons poor ball rentention at crucial times let them down for what could've been a major upset in the competition. In what is a first for the Bartercard Cup Central Falcons Mark Edwards made his debut and played alongside his father, Mark Graham who fronted up for his 70th appearance in the competition.
Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions have suffered another loss, this time at the hands of the visiting Eastern Tornadoes.
The first half was a very tight battle with the Tornadoes just holding onto the lead at the break by 20-16. Tornadoes speedster Kotisi Fakalata scored a hat-trick while Remus Gentles was once again solid with the boot as the Eastern side ran away with the game in the second half winning in the end by 36-26.
The Stallions now are sitting 8th on the ladder one point behind the Tornadoes. Four losses in a row in not a good sign for the team that were the early top runner in the competition.
The Tornadoes will be playing a Round 12 match against Otahuhu Ellerslie due to the NZ 'A' Test vs NSW Country on Sunday afternoon at Albany. They take on Otahuhu Ellerslie at Ericsson Stadium on Saturday evening as the curtain raiser for the Warriors / Eels NRL clash.
Sunday 27 June 2004
Victory on Sunday afternoon over the visiting Counties Manakau Jets consolidated the Bulls third position on the Bartercard Cup points table and extended their two-year unbeaten record at Rugby League Park to 16 matches. For the majority of the match, the game could've gone either way until Aaron Harris scored two very quick tries, and helped set up a third to take the Bulls to a healthy lead of 42-12. A slack defensive effort by the Bulls in the final ten minutes of the game allowed the Jetz two late consolation tries to bring up the final score of 42-20 to the Bulls.
The Jetz showed they can played for the full 80 minutes when the came back at the Bulls. They are sitting in 6th place on the competition table just two points away from the Top 5.
Canterbury Bulls vs Counties Manukau Jetz Rugby League Park, Christchurch
The North Harbour Tigers once again put on a fine display at Albany coming out victors over the visiting Wellington side by 25-18. The speedster in their back, Karl Johnson and Lamond Copestake both scored 2 tries a piece while the goal kicking of Jarrod Trott managed to keep them ahead as well as his one field goal to give the side a 7 point buffer in the end.
The Wellington side showed a lot of commitment especially in defence. Coming back straight after the break to level the scores at 18 all, a break by substitute Isaac Luke who ran 70m, and just failing to score could've changed the match to score moreso when Wellington dummy half Wiremu Weepu was unlucky to be penalised when he tried to push a tackler off Luke.
The Tigers remain in 5th spot and look set to remain in the Top 5.
Wellington's playoff chances now slip further away. They are now ninth, with seven points ? four points outside the top five ? from three wins, a draw and five losses. They now have this weekend off with the best players in the competition playing for New Zealand A against New South Wales Country at North Harbour, both in the Wellington under 18's and the New Zealand A side..
With an impressive lead of 22-0 at the break, the Otahuhu Ellerslie side looked to post a big score in their game against the Glenora Bears. To their credit the home side hit back in the second half,something they are getting used to doing, and in the end went down by just 28-14.
Otahuhu Ellerslie are 3rd equal on the ladder, just point differential seperating them from the Bulls, and only 3 points behind the leaders Marist Richmnod Brothers.
The Bears with 3 draws beside their name are 10th.
Otahuhu Ellerslie face up against the Tornadoes in a Round 12 clash ahead of the Warriors/Eels match on Saturday night at Ericsson Stadium.
Saturday 26 June 2004
Sunday 27 June 2004
Fixtures for Round 10 and the International games:
Saturday 3 July 2004
Eastern Tornadoes vs Otahuhu Ellerslie Ericsson Stadium, Auckland (Curtain Raiser To Warriors vs Parramatta Eels) 5.05pm Kick Off
Sunday 4 July 2004