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VB NSW CUP rd #23 report - Vulcans vs. Roos:
By Andrew Stark at Morry Breen Field
The Auckland Vulcans ran out convincing 38-20 winners over Wyong in a sometimes spiteful encounter at the Morry Breen Field.
Apart from the niggle which saw three Vulcans placed on report and two late send offs, one from either team, this was a game highlighted by a sparkling period of play midway through the first half that yielded three spectacular, razzle dazzle, Auckland tries.
The afternoon’s scoring began in the 9th minute when Vulcan’s second rower Sebastine Ikahihifo sprinted 45 metres down the left touchline after nice lead up from Albert Vete and Alehana Mara. The Roos hit straight back however when nuggety five eighth Brad Bennett burrowed over from close range. Auckland then proceeded to run white hot for a breath taking quarter of an hour of absolute power and skill. Tries in the 17th, 22nd and 29th minutes to Waetford, Lolohea and Mara, each attacking raid a master class in hot potato ball movement as the Steeden simply refused to be locked down.
In warm conditions, starved of possession and trailing 22-6, Wyong looked out on their feet after half an hour yet mercifully the bright Vulcan light began to slowly dull a little as penalties and ill-discipline crept in.
A burst of Roos possession enabled firstly Jono Ford to slice over off Mitch Williams, followed six seconds before halftime by Jayson Mackenzie spearing into the Leagues Club corner to reduce the mid game deficit to 22-14.
The second period couldn’t have started much worse for Wyong. Jono Ford sent the kick off over the side line on the full and the ensuing Auckland attacking raid ended with big Nathaniel Peteru tearing up the middle, bashing and barging his way over through a host of despairing green and gold jerseys.
At 28-14 the game entered an arm wrestle phase. Wyong attacked strongly but were denied by resolute defence and then against the run of play, Pita Godinet dashed away for a four pointer after a dubious Vete offload. This was followed by Albert Vete driving in low for a try of his own and with seven minutes remaining.
The simmering pot then lost its lid. Firstly, Wyong’s Junior Tia Kilifi was sent off for a high tackle. And then from the restart an almighty brouhaha spiraled across field, the culmination of which saw Vulcan’s prop Charlie Grubb marched for punching.
Twelve on twelve for the final 3 minutes, a period in which Dan Phillips was able to sprint over for a consolation try leaving the final ledger reading 38-20 in Auckland’s favour.
Auckland Vulcans (Ikahihifo, Waetford, Lolohea, Mara, Peteru, Godinet, Vete tries: Taukeiaho (5 goals)
Wyong Roos (Bennett, Ford, MacKenzie, Phillips tries: Ford (2 goals)
Half Time: 22 – 14
Full Time: 38 – 20 (Auckland Vulcans)