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Pirtek National Premiership


September 5, 2014

Pirtek National Premiership - Vipers turned snakes in the grass

After more than a year languishing at the foot of the Pirtek NZRL National Premiership, the Central Vipers were due.
But their ground-breaking 32-22 win over southern neighbours Wellington Orcas has assistant coach (and Mid Central Zone coaching & development officer) Alan Jackson is already lining up future victims.

The Vipers, consisting of players from Hawke's Bay, Taranaki, Wanganui and Manawatu districts, snapped a losing streak that dated back to Round Three of 2012, when they last tasted success against Northern Swords.

In their final outing of last season, they conceded 100 points to unbeaten Counties Manukau, prompting some serious soul searching in the off-season. A new coaching staff was appointed, headed by Stacey O'Carroll, and half the playing squad was shown the door.

"It's been a bit of a new broom and, so far, it has been going all right," says Jackson, who steered the Vipers women to their national final earlier this year.

"This is a far more stable squad - we've made only one change over the first three games, so we've had good consistency in trainings and in games.

"We sat down at the beginning of the year and thought, if we could win half our games, that would be a fairly successful campaign, compared with previous years. We've got one of the three we want to win, so now we've got four more games to come up with a couple more.”

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Wellington had previously beaten the Swords, suggesting they might be beatable, while Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions are also winless through the opening two rounds.

But the Vipers may be hard pressed adding to their tally this Sunday, when they visit Counties Manukau at Papakura, hoping to erase memories of their previous meeting.

The Stingrays have lost the last two premiership finals and began their 2014 schedule last week with a 46-6 road win over the Northern side in Whangarei.

"It's always a challenge to play against the Auckland sides, but it will let us know where we are," says Jackson.

Saturday, September 6
2.30pm Wellington Orcas v Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions,
Porirua Park, Wellington
Orcas: 1-Bernard Gregorius, 2-Lance Belford-Laulu, 3-Ben Tuia, 4-Raymond Lesoa, 5-David Saumolia, 6-Shaun Playford, 7-Anthony Utanga, 8-Robbie McKenzie, 9-Michael O'Brien, 10-Chance Haua-Tauri, 11-Josh Kohika, 12-Paul Lemana, 13-Nicholas Phillips, 14-Grayson Putu, 15-Fe'aomoeata Fakalelu, 16-Mona Sio, 17-Denzil Hokianga
Stallions: 1-Caleb Heke, 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-Callin Tereu, 11-Terry Kopua, 12-Cody King, 13-Jason Whareaitu, 14-Riki Collier/Hohepa Monk, 15-Raynard Haggie, 16-Shaquille Jakeman, 17-Marrin Haggie
Referee - Aaron Kesha; touch - Dave Robati & John Puna

2.30pm Canterbury Bulls v Akarana Falcons,
Denton Park, Christchurch
Bulls: 1-Ken Tofilau, 2-Cyrus Timo-Latu, 3-Erwin Sauni, 4-Jade Hoy, 5-Vincent Paul, 6-Toi Sepuloni, 7-Darren Tonihi, 8-Paul Sauni, 9-Alani Kakoi, 10-Chris Bamford (capt), 11-JJ Smith, 12-Corey Lawrie, 13-Agaese Fiso, 14-Manu Weepu, 15-Will Tafua, 16-Kyle Leka, 17-Vincent Tusa
1-Mao Uta, 2-Simon Luafalealo, 3-Misi Fotu, 4-Dylan Rota, 5-Simon Luafalealo, 6-Simon Ieremia, 7-Cody Walker, 8-Eddie Purcell, 9-Zac Tippins, 10-Kaleni Fraser, 11-Malakai Houma, 12-Taylor Daniels, 13-Karl Semeti, 14-Semisi Mau, 15-Tulson Caird, 16-Lila Vaivai, 17-Trent Schaumkel
Referee - Jamal Thompson; touch - Jason Wilson & Daryl Maitai

Sunday, September 7
1.30pm Counties Manukau Stingrays v Central Vipers
Massey Park, Papakura
Stingrays: 1-Filipine Jacob Aki, 2-Raymond Taimale, 3-Lafu Feagaiga, 4-Paulos Latu, 5-George Edwards, 6-Zebastian Luisi, 7-William Stowers, 8-Zion Tesese, 9-Jethro Friend, 10-Tony Tua, 11-Pakisonasi Afu, 12-Sione Feao, 13-Dion Snell, 14-Terrence Phillips, 15-Paul Tuli, 16-Jamel Hunt, 17-Eko Malu
Vipers: 1-Aarron Whitikea, 2-Josiah Ratu, 3-Vaiola Kereti, 4-Joshua Kerr, 5-Tyson Young, 6-Dylan Hall, 7-Cruze Rauner, 8-Sione Sifa, 9-Colin Hokianga, 10-Ale Feaunatu/Gordon Karaitiana, 11-Jarrod Morfett, 12-Robert McSeveny, 13-Richard Gillies, 14-Travell Ngatoko, 15-Cody Christiansen, 16-William Schuster, 17-Ale Feaunati/Gordon Karaitiana
Referee - Shane Rehm; touch - Nathan Barker Pringle & Chris McMillan

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


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