The opening game of Round Six saw the Otago Spirit host the Bay of Plenty Volcanix at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin. The weather was clear, the crowd was jubilant and the rugby was great.
From the kickoff both teams showed they came to play an expansive game. With the Volcanix dominating up front through their forward pack, the half back Ora Williams managed to open the scoring with a try to the right of the posts after only six minutes. The try went unconverted by Black Ferns Sevens player Crystal Mays and the Volcanix went from strength to strength from there. After a prolonged period of play a down field kick from the Spirit didn’t find touch and the Volcanix moved the ball out wide to speed demon centre Aryahn Clarke in a 75 metre run that would have made All Black Damien McKenzie proud. From inside their own 22 metre line the Volcanix did a skip pass through the backs and handed it to Clarke who then beat two defenders and managed to outrun three more on her way to the try line. And Clarke was back at it at again just before the break when she dummied a pass and beat three defenders for her second try of the game. Going into the half time break the Volcanix looked unstoppable and Otago were ruing poor discipline at ruck time when not one but two of their players were sent to the bin for 10 minutes on either side of the half. The score at half time was 17-0 to the Bay of Plenty with three tries and one conversion.
Back from the half and Otago were still down to 14 players for the next eight minutes, but that didn’t stop them from scoring first with a wonderful try to lock Julia Gorinski, the conversion was kicked by reliable as every No 10 Liv Waldron and the score become 7-17 to the Volcanix after 45 minutes. Otago played well in the second half with less penalties given away and more ball in hand play. Liv Waldron managed a penalty kick in the 50th minute to bring the scores to 10-17 to the Volcanix. But the Volcanix came to show why they were sitting at the top of the table and ran in two more tries through prop Ereti Williams and Ora Williams second try of the game. With the score at 27 -10 to the Volcanix on full time, Otago gathered for one last hurrah and scored through replacement No 18 Tegan Hollows in extra time. The final score being 17-27 to the Bay of Plenty Volcanix.
This sees the Volcanix top the Championship table and also get two weeks off as they have the bye next weekend and also sit out the semi-finals and go directly to the Championship final where they will face either the Otago Spirit or the North Harbour Hibiscus.
There are still two more games to be played this weekend with Tasman Makos hosting North Harbour Hibiscus at Trafalgar Park in Nelson and Waikato hosting Canterbury at FMG Stadium in Hamilton tomorrow. Both games will be aired live on Sky Sport 3. If you are unable to watch these games I will be live tweeting them on Twitter @farahpalmercup.