Week 5 has come and gone and the rugby flowed with it.
Auckland Storm v Bay of Plenty Volcanix
Pakuranga Rugby Club, Pakuranga
This game was a do or die match for both teams as the winner will get a shot at the playoffs and the loser still needs to battle it out with three other teams for the second play off spot. Both teams were evenly matched coming into the game and the only real difference between them was the Volcanix couldn’t keep hold of the ball. Auckland barely managed a win in this on as the Bay could have easily taken it.
Auckland Storm 22
Bay of Plenty Volcanix 19
**Thanks to Auckland Rugby for inviting me along to this game as media. You guys are awesome.**
Waikato v Counties Power Heat
Putaruru Rugby Club, Putaruru
Thanks to Bev’s Broadcasting for the livestream on Facebook.
Our game two of the round also saw another do or die match between two old foes. Counties really needed a win here to boast their confidence back due to the loss at the hands of the Northland Kauri last week. Waikato also needed the win to cement their front running position for the second play off spot. Both teams played out of their skins and the score line shows this as Waikato narrowly won over Counties with barely anything in it.
Counties Power Heat 28
Northland Kauri v North Harbour Hibiscus
Semenoff Stadium, Whangarei
Highlights thanks to Sky Sport: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=975356682972055
Game three of a very congested afternoon of FPC saw Northland Kauri host North Harbour Hibiscus in Whangarei on a sunny Saturday afternoon. The Kauri coming off the back of the upset of the season came into the game as favourites as North Harbour struggled to contain the Kauri superstars Tyler Nathan-Wong and Portia Woodman. Both of these players looked like they were having a blast on the field and it showed in the score line. The Kauri finished up with an impressive 11 tries to 1.
Northland Kauri 65
North Harbour Hibiscus 5
Canterbury v Wellington Pride
OrangeTheory Stadium, Christchurch
Highlights thanks to Sky Sport https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=617295185632859
This was a must win for Wellington if they wanted to stay in the hunt for a play off spot. Unfortunately no one told Canterbury. The Red and Blacks as usual took charge of the game early on and never let the foot of the pedal. With arguably the best halfback in the world commanding the backline, Kendra Cocksedge has managed to steer Canterbury to the playoffs yet again. Wellington had some brilliant flashes but Canterbury were too good on the day.
Wellington Pride 12
Tasman Mako v Hawkes Bay Tuis
Sports Park, Moetueka
Thanks to Tasman Mako for the livestream
This game was a confidence booster for whoever won as both teams had lost all their games up to this point. Hawkes Bay showed their are definitely a team to watch in the next few seasons as they racked up a 19 point lead at half time. Tasman showed some promise but need to work on the basics first. The Tuis were too good on the day for the Mako.
Tasman Mako 5
Hawkes Bay Tuis 62
Otago Spirit v Manawatu Cyclones
Forysth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Thanks to Elevate Analysis for the livestream.
Our final game of the round saw Otago Spirit hast Manawatu Cyclones for the chance to secure the second play off spot in the Southern League. Both teams needed the win boast their chances of coming in second best to Canterbury. Both teams were evenly matched on the team sheet and it was anyones game up until the last 5 minutes when the Cyclones scored the try to put Otago out of reach of a bonus point. The Cyclones were too good on the day with star play maker Selica Winiata again getting 4 from 4 conversions.
Otago Spirit 14
Manawatu Cyclones 28
That’s all for Week 5.
Next week the Southern League have a bye and the Auckland Storm also have the bye so it should be interesting to see who in the Northern League are going to get the second spot for the play offs.