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Hibiscus Coast Raiders have become the first team to be knocked out of the semi finals in New Zealand's Bartercard Cup competition.
North Harbour Tigers had to withstand a second half fightback by the Raiders at Ericsson Stadium on Sunday after the Hibiscus Coast team were trailing by 8 points at the break to scored 16 unanswered points.
The Tigers then scored 3 tries in the half to take out the match by 30-20 and keep their hopes alive as they head into next week's game agasinst Counties Manukau Jets on Saturday.
In the other finals match played this weekend, Canterbury Bulls defeated Counties Manukau Jets on Saturday in Christchurch.
Auckland referee Artie Clark sin-binned Jetz centre Roman Hifo and put hooker Andrew Wharton on report for high tackles on O'Brien and Tafua, respectively, in the first half. Clark awarded the first seven penalties to the Bulls, and six of the remaining eight to Counties Manukau. The game was at times ugly, with a lot of niggle.
With a healthy lead at the break by 20-4, the Bulls looked to be totally in control. However the Jets fought back strongly to be within sight of the Canterbury side down 24-18 with 20 minutes left on the clock.
The Bulls then kicked back into life, scoring 2 late tries to seal the victory, 36-18.
They now face up against Mt Albert coming off the bye. The winner of this game next Sunday will seal a spot in the Grand Final on September 18th.
BARTERCARD CUP COMPETITION ? WEEK 1 SEMI FINAL RESULTS
Saturday 27 August 2005:
Canterbury Bulls vs Counties Manukau Jetz Rugby League Park, Christchurch
Halftime Score: 20 ? 4 to Canterbury Bulls
L.Copestake, J.Duff, D. Glasgow, K.Guttenbiel, D.Vasau tries, A,Green (2), J.Trott (3)goal
T.Thompson, C.Motu, W.Henare, S.Matafea tries, D.Floyd (2) goals
Halftime Score: 12 -4 to North Harbour Tigers