Auckland Nines Wrap: Day Two

St George-Illawarra kept their hopes alive of making the quarter finals after upstaging Parramatta 12-10 in the opening game of day two with Dragons’ captain Benji Marshall scoring with ninety seconds remaining to edge the Dragons in front. In wet conditions both sides struggled early on. Eto Nabuli scored his third try of the tournament but if wasn’t enough for the Dragons to progress.

With the Dragons victory, Newcastle needed victory over Manly to advance to the knock-out stage. Tyrone Roberts’ freakish catch from Tony Santini’s kick on the half time siren put the Knights ahead 8-7. Williame was awarded a controversial try where replays show he dropped the ball after being tackled in-goal when trying to improve his position. Manly scored again to lead with three minutes to go but Adam Clydesdale scored the winner for the Knights to see them qualify for the next stage 20-17.

South Sydney remained undefeated in Waiheke group with a comfortable 24-4 victory over Melbourne. Adam Reynolds was the star in setting up Joel Reddy’s try just after the half time break with a 40/20 kick.

That result meant that North Queensland just needed to win to make the quarter-finals. They did so with a 14-8 victory over a gallant Penrith outfit. Jason Taumololo was one of the best for the Cowboys with some damaging runs which saw the forward rewarded with a try.

The New Zealand Warriors put their shock loss to the Raiders on day one behind them to beat the Wests Tigers 22-8.An early try to Manu Vatuvei in the corner put the side on their way but Chris Lawrence hit back minutes later. Solomone Kata then scored his first of the game to give the Warriors a slender lead at half-time. However, it was all New Zealand in the second half including Kata going long-range to score. Kata was man of the match but Shaun Johnson also showed glimpses of magic, and looks to be hitting form at the right time.

The Gold Coast Titans got their first win of the tournament with a 38-13 victory over the Canberra Raiders. A double from James Roberts, including a contender for try of the tournament, allowed the Titans to head into the break with a 17-6 lead. A dominant performance continued in the second half as they went on to win convincingly 38-13.

The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks sealed top place in the Piha Pool with a 20-14 victory over the Sydney Roosters.It was all the Sharks early in the game before a late flurry from the Roosters meant the last few minutes was a nerve-racking affair for Sharks players and fans. New recruit Jack Bird was the clear stand out, setting up a try and scoring one himself.

The Brisbane Broncos ended their Dick Smith Auckland Nines campaign with a win against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. After skipping out to a 13-0 lead at half-time thanks to tries to the Nikorima brothers, Kodi and Jayden, the second half fizzled out with both sides highlighting why they did not make it past the group stage in this years tournament.The Nikorima were the stand-outs in a game that struggled for many positives.

The Finals

The combination of Corey Norman and Chris Sandow proved too much of as the Eels sent the defending champions, Cowboys, packing, winning 17-11 in the first Quarter Final. The Cowboys struck early through hooker Jake Granville with a bonus zone try, but the elation was short-lived as Norman swooped on a Sandow kick for his first try of the game.A second half stale-mate ended off the boot of Norman with a brilliant cross-field kick to Bureta Faraimo. Justin O’Neill showed off his wheels to tie things up at 11 a piece but it was Norman again proving the hero for the Eels elusively crossing for the match winning try with just seconds on the clock. The final

In the second Quarter Final the Rabbitohs stormed their way into the semi-finals with a 30-6 demolition of the Knights, despite conceding the game’s first try through Jake Mamo. From there the Knights struggled to get a word in as the Bunnies unleashed an offensive barrage. Issac Luke’s fancy footwork around the ruck constantly asked questions of the defence, and his kicking game was superb.The precise boot of Adam Reynolds, both in play and at goal proved a valuable asset once again as the Rabbitohs qualifies for the Semi Finals in style.

It was more one way traffic in Quarter Final number three as the Roosters toyed with the upstart Tigers, to the tune of 22-4. The Tigers claimed the first points through Kevin Naiqama, but that would be the only points they’d score as the Roosters former Origin halves James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce orchestrated an authoritative Chooks win. Pearce showed signs of his 2014 form with a brilliant show-and-go slicing through defence to claim a 6-4 lead and from there the floodgates opened. A long Maloney kick was claimed by Pearce for his second try, while Maloney solidified the win with a late score of his own stepping through the line to score.

The Sharks secured a Semi Final spot with a nail-biting 14-12 victory over the Warriors in the fourth Semi Final. The Sharks conceded the opening try when big Manu Vatuvei scored off the boot of Shaun Johnson, but the joy was quickly extinguished when Matt Prior linked up with Chris Heighington for a 7-4 Sharks lead. The Sharks would claim another seven pointer with former Warriors junior Sosaia Feki hooking up with Nathan Gardner, creating a 14-7 lead.The Warriors scored late through Ngani Laumape to give the Warriors hope but Johnson was unable to convert. From the ensuing kick off, they claimed the ball but a Sam Tomkins pass floated too high for Vatuvei to claim and the Warriors bowed out.

The South Sydney Rabbitohs won through to their first Dick Smith Auckland Nines Final with a convincing 37-6 victory over the Parramatta Eels in the first Semi Final.The seven tries-to-one demolition was orchestrated by Adam Reynolds who almost single-handedly tore the Eels apart. Bryson Goodwin also got a double in the game as the team aims to be the holders of both the NRL Premiership and Nines title at the same time.

The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks are aiming to win their first piece of silverware under the NRL banner after a 10-4 win against the Sydney Roosters in the second Semi Final. In a tight affair, it took a late try to Sosaia Feki to seal a win for the Shire-based outfit and book a date with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

In one of the best games ever seen at the Auckland Nines, the South Sydney Rabbitohs have beaten the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 18-14 after an extra-time golden try.A try to Matt King gave the Rabbitohs their first Dick Smith Auckland Nines title but it wasn’t easy after a last-second converted try to one of the stars of the tournament, Jack Bird, sent the game into golden try extra time.Both sides showed glimpses of what could be a successful season; the Sharks in particular showed plenty of improvement after a horror 2014 on and off the field.

Highlights of every game from day two can be found here

Other Articles

NRL News
Super League News

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Translate »