Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
March 14, 2021 – Auckland Blue shot to the top of the NZRL National 20s ladder with a 34-4 road victory over the South Island on Sunday afternoon.
Doubles to powerful Richmond centre Ben Kosi and captain Zyon Maiu’u did much of the damage for the visitors, who led 8-4 at the break before scoring 26 unanswered points in the second spell to record a comprehensive victory.
Unfortunately there were some negatives to emerge from the game as well, with the loss of Mt Albert flyer Nehumi Teu to what appeared to be a serious lower leg injury and an injury to Auckland product turned South Island rep Christian Pese which saw him taken from the field via stretcher.
The result leaves Auckland Blue as the competition’s only unbeaten side, following Auckland White’s defeat to Central Districts in Round 3, and gives coach Alan Ettles’ side a two-point buffer at the top of the standings.
Kosi was responsible for Auckland’s only points in the first half, crossing for a pair of tries which went unconverted, while at the other end impressive South Island fullback Mapu Uasi scored to bring his side back to within four points at the break.
But after the southerners kicked out on the full to start the second half, Tupou Fifita made them pay with a try from dummy-half, before Glenora’s Maiu’u scored two tries in the space of 10 minutes – both of which were converted by Caleb Laiman – to blow the scoreline out.
Marist hooker Stanley Iongi burrowed over for his third try in two games with 11 minutes to play and Laiman kicked a penalty on the siren to finish the scoring.
Auckland Blue 34 (Ben Kosi x2, Tupou Fifita, Zyon Maiu’u x2, Stanley Iongi tries; Caleb Laiman x4 goals, 1x penalty goal) def. South Island 4 (Mapu Uasi try) at Ngā Puna Wai. HT: 8-4.