Resurgent Vipers show no mercy
September 14, 2014
Pirtek NZRL National Premiership - Resurgent Vipers show no mercy
Central Vipers have continued their turnaround season in the Pirtek NZRL National Premiership, with a resounding 74-16 win over Northern Swords at Wanganui.
After travelling through the 2013 competition without a win, the Hawke's Bay/Taranaki/Manawatu/Wanganui combination have now registered two wins this year, having accounted for Wellington two weeks ago.
By contrast, the Swords now have one hand on the wooden spoon, still winless through four rounds.
The equivalent fixture 12 months ago provided the Vipers with the best result of their schedule - a 40-22 loss - but they were quickly on top this time, running in seven tries to lead 36-4 at halftime.
They never let up and their winning margin represented a 76-point improvement against the same opponents from last year.
Flying winger Jo Ratu led the charge with three tries, while Che Barlow and Cruze Rauner bagged a pair each. Fullback Aaron Whitikia chipped in nine goals.
Centre Waipu Sione had a double for the northerners.
Meanwhile, Counties Manukau have put daylight between themselves and their rivals so far this season, building on their superiority with a 68-0 romp over Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions in Tauranga.
Unbeaten through last regular season, but knocked over in the final, the Stingrays seem to be on a mission to erase that memory, accounting for their opponents by an average of 55 points.
Wai-Coa-Bay came into the contest off the back of a comeback victory over Wellington last week, but were never in contention, trailing 32-0 at halftime.
Eko Malu scored three tries and is now a clear competition leader in this category, with seven for the season. Team-mates Filipine Jacob Aki, Tomas Aoake and William Stowers secured doubles, wwith Stowers also kicking nine goals to become the points leader.
Counties Manukau now face a grand-final rematch against Akarana Falcons next week and still have the premiership's other unbeaten side, Canterbury Bulls, left on their schedule.
PIRTEK NZRL NATIONAL PREMIERSHIP
Sunday, September 14
Cooks Garden, Wanganui
Central Vipers 74 (Jo Ratu 3, Che Barlow 2, Cruze Rauner 2, Tyson Young , Sione Sifa, Travell Ngatoko, Jarrod Morfett, Wiremu McSeveny, Josh Kerr & Gordon Karaitiana tries; Aaron Whitikia 9 goals) Northern Swords 16 (Waipu Sione 2 & Tetuhi Tipene tries: Joel Freeman 2 goals): HT: 36-4
Vipers: 1-Aaron Whitikia, 2-Jo Ratu, 4-Che Barlow, 3-Vailoa Kereti, 5-Tyson Young, 18-Dylan Hall, 20-Cruze Rauner, 10-Kele Kose, 9-Travell Ngatoko, 8-Sione Sifa, 11-Jarrod Morfett, 12-Wiremu McSeveny, 13-William Schuster, 19-Josh Kerr, 15-Gorden Karaitiana, 16-Ale Feaunati, 17-Richard Gillies
Swords: 1-Chris Mellar-Reynolds, 2-Tumoana Halkyard, 3-Waipu Sione, 4-Ross McFarlane, 5- Rikki Tarau, 6-Daniel Fulop, 7-Dean Schreurs, 8-Chris Apoua, 9-Joel Freeman, 10- Elliot Pomare, 11-Manu Tuhoro, 12-Patrick Tane, 13-Kelsin Harding, 14-Moses Cooper, 15-Sam Henry, 16-Andre Lennox, 17-Te Tuhi Tipene
Referee - Kena Waikai Touch - Sonny Whakarau & Rodney Haines
Counties Manukau Stingrays 68 (Eko Malu 3, Filipine Jacob Aki 2, Tomas Aoake 2, William Stowers 2, George Edwards, Mapa Tuipolotu & Terrence Phillips tries; Stowers 9 & Jacob Aki goals) Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions 0; HT: 32-0
Stallions: 1-Hohepa Monk, 2-Mounga Molisi, 3-Hamiora Mihaka, 4-John Koko, 5-Isaac Robinson, 6-Johnson Peri, 7-Hayden Karena (capt), 8-Hone Love-Henry, 9-Raureti Grace, 10-Shaquille Jakeman, 11-Terry Kopua, 12- Isaiah Cooper-Tetevano, 13-Peter Letoga, 14-Raynard Haggie, 15-Riki Collier, 16-Mosese Mafi, 17-Callin Tereu
Stingrays: 1-George Edwards, 2-Lafu Feagaiga, 3-Mapa Tuipololotu, 4-Filipine Jacob Aki, 5-Tomas Aoake, 6-Carlos Hotene, 7-William Stowers, 8-Jamel Hunt, 9-Jethro Friend (capt), 10-Siona Zion Tesese, 11-Dion Snell, 12-Sione Feao, 13-Eko Malu, 14-Terence Phillips, 15-Joseph Price, 16-Palu Tapuevalu, 17-Afatasi Collins
Referee - Chris McMillan Touch - Tai Hepi & Henare Chadwick
NZ Rugby League would like to acknowledge and thank naming-rights sponsor of the NZRL National Premiership – Pirtek fluid transfer solutions – who is also major sponsor of the NZ Kiwis. In addition, Pirtek supports league through its NRL association with the Brisbane Broncos and Parramatta’s Pirtek Stadium.