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LEAGUE: Auckland champions upset in Bartercard Cup

Picking the winners is not proving easy in this two-week-old national rugby league competition. Three-time Fox Memorial champions Glenora were easily beaten 34-6 by Brian McLennan's Hibiscus Coast side, while Northcote trailed the Ngongotaha Chiefs with five minutes remaining before winning 20-13.

Bartercard Cup - Round Two Results: Saturday, March 18, 2000

Hibiscus Coast Raiders 34
(W Mackie, S Ata, L Maginley, T Thompson, T Daniels, R Wigg tries; S Ata 5 con)
Glenora Bears 6
(B Nelson try; S Buckingham con)
Halftime: 18-6 Hibiscus Coast

One of the big upsets in round two of the Bartercard Cup was Hibiscus Coast's emphatic victory over the highly-fancied Glenora side. The contest looked even after both sides scored early tries but the first-half sin-binning of big Glenora centre Ricky Henry proved costly for the west Auckland side.

Hibiscus Coast scrored two tries either side of the half-time break, effectively shutting Glenora out of the game. The Hibiscus Coast forwards were a cohesive unit, with every player contributing to a fine all-round performance.

"I am reluctant to point out any individual after a six-try-to-one thumping of the current Auckland champs, it had to be a team effort," said Raiders coach Brian McLennan. But Raiders second row forward Jeff Thurston proved a worthy player of the day, while standoff Lenny Maginley was outstanding in all facets of play.

Sunday, March 19, 2000

Wainuiomata 40
(B Weepu, W Puohotama 2, M Luke, E Oti, D Edmonds, B Ratahi, J Bell tries; B Weepu 3 cons, S Berryman con)
Marist Richmond 28
(N Presland 2, P Tuimavavae, I Va'alua, A Manu tries; K Bredenbeck 4 cons)
Halftime: 20-16 Wainuiomata

Wainuiomata travelled to Auckland determined to kick-start their Bartercard Cup campaign after a first-round loss to Northcote. That determination proved too much for Marist Richmond in a game that proves quality football is not the exclusive domain of the NRL. Wainuiomata prop Billy Weepu scored a try in the opening minutes and his side looked like they were about to run away with the game after scoring two more tries in rapid succession.

Marist Richmond went to their bench to stem the flow and were rewarded with instant success after interchange player Nigel Presland scored twice, bringing the home side within striking distance at halftime. Referee Arthur Clark allowed the game to flow by ensuring quick and clean play in the ruck area. Both teams responded, rewarding the enthusiastic crowd with a free-flowing exhibition of rugby league.

Canterbury Bulls 50
(R Hubbard 3, S Woodgate, C McCaulsand 3, M Emslie, T Tongia, S Norton tries; R Hubbard 3 con, pen, J Manuel con)
Mt Albert Lions 12
L Rodgers, M McClay tries; L Rodgers 2 con)
Halftime: 18-6 Canterbury

Rugby League Park, Christchurch will be a graveyard for any visiting team according to Canterbury Bulls general manager Marcus Durkin. A large Canterbury crowd got right behind their team in a 10-try performance that leaves the only South Island team at the top of the points table.

Mt Albert scored a try just after halftime to bring the score to 18-12 but the home side responded by picking up the pace of a game played in hot conditions. Raymond Hubbard made an impressive debut at fullback, with three tries and five conversions for a points tally of 22.

Eastern Tornadoes 26
(W Sua 2, J Tatana, M Murray, F Tupou tries; J Flavell 3 con)
Manurewa Marlins 18
(A Kiro, H McGuire, G Adams, W Barnett tries; G Welsh con)
Halftime: 6-4 Manurewa

In a local derby at Ericsson Stadium, Auckland the Eastern Tornadoes proved too strong for the Manurewa Marlins. The Marlins were ahead for most of the game, dominating field position and possession. In the final quarter, the Tornadoes pulled back a 10-point deficit by moving the ball wide to impressive second row forward Philip Leuluai and Winston Sua on the wing. The result keeps the Eastern Tornadoes at the top of the points table with three other teams.

Northcote Tigers 20
(H Kapi 2, G Hau, C Fa'avae tries; J Cook 2 con)
Ngongotaha Chiefs 13
(J Stevens 2, A Leota, D Hewitt tries; D Murray 1 drop goal)
Halftime: 8-6 Northcote

Ngongotaha almost pulled off the biggest upset of the round, leading 13-12 over Northcote with five minutes left. The overall conditioning and experience of the Northcote pack allowed the home team to remain patient and score two tries for victory. On the effort and commitment displayed, the Chiefs will be a force to be reckoned with as the competition moves forward.

Otahuhu Leopards 58
(S Kiri 3, H Te Rangi 3, G Carmont, M Lethbridge, S Edwards, E Toby, C Magele tries; H Te Rangi 7 cons)
Porirua Pumas 22
(D Paul, W Doughty, M Ioane, P Madar tries; C Smith 3 cons)
Halftime: 20-0 Otahuhu

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