Dragons slay Tigers and Whiti still on top
After gaining an historic win over the University Hunters last weekend, the St George Dragons continued their winning momentum by beating the Upper Hutt Tigers 34-18 at Cannons Creek on Saturday.
Both teams went into the round six game of the Wellington premier rugby league competition under no illusions that this match was a vital one if they were any chances of them getting into the top half of the table.
In the finish the Dragons came off the dusty, hard field as victors, but were disappointed in knowing they had missed out on six tries after some 'hail mary' passes had gone to ground.
The unforced errors came thick and fast to both teams from the outset that resulted in 15 minutes going by before St George centre Tala Eni scored the first try of the game.
A further three tries to the St George backline allowed the home side tio be up 20-4 at halftime.
Upper Hutt were better in the second half, matching St George 14-14 in points.
Despite the win, the St George coach Ta'au Savaiinaea was frustrated at fulltime in knowing his side had the wealth of the possession, but failed to execute the opportunities when given.
"I am not sure whether we were complacent after gaining the win over the Hunters last weekend and although I am happy to take the two points for the win, I realise we have still a long way to go if we are to compete well against the top sides."
Whiti Te Ra had their work cut out at the Otaki Domain against a gritty Petone Panthers side before eventually winning 56-18 to maintain their perfect winning record this season.
The Panthers, coming off the bye week in seventh place, went out with a spirited attitude against the competition leaders and by halftime were only down by a 16-14 margin.Petone's first try came after its bustling centre David Lefaoseu tipped the ball back following a kick before offloading to his second row Paul Aloaina to score under the posts.
In the second spell, the home side sped up their play around the ruck and, with Petone failing to get back quick enough, gaps began to open up to allow Whiti Te Ra to win with seeming ease.
Another top side that was tested in the first half before taking toll in the second spell were the Te Aroha Eels, who beat the Randwick Kingfishers 24-10 at Naenae Park after being ahead by a slender 12-10 at halftime.
The Eels scored a total of five tries in the game and had some of its best passages of play around both their prop Mike Nathan and scrumhalf Mohi Aupouri, while Randwick utility Kori Rere and prop Chance Tauri stood out for the blue and golds.
For the second successive game, the Porirua Vikings leaked a point a minute in going down 80-4 to the Wainuiomata Lions at Wise Park.
The Hunters had the bye.