The semi final matches in New Zealand's Bartercard Cup competition proved to be very exciting as expected. The Eastern Tornadoes side now bow out of the running as we head into the major semi-final next weekend.
Facing the Canterbury Bulls in Christchurch was always going to be a tough ask for the Marist Richmond Brothers. Without their major play maker, Jerome Ropati who was called into the NZ Warriors clash against the Roosters, Marist battled hard especially in the first half, to be only behind by four at the break. But the intensity of the game soon became beyond their control as the Bulls stepped up a gear in the second half and ran out the winners in the end by a comfortable 40-18.
The Bulls now are straight into the Grand Final whereas Marist get another chance when they take on the Mt Albert Lions in the major semi final.
Canterbury Bulls 40 (C. Newton 2, R. Hansen 2, L. Sione, J. Taipari, T. Pelenise tries; J. O'Brien 6 goals)
Marist Richmond Brothers 18 (F. Prescott, B. Collins, G. Rota, T. Esera tries; G. Rota goal).
Another solid performance by the Mt Albert Lions to defeat the Eastern Tornadoes 42-20.
Once again a tight first half had the game locked up at 18 all at the break but the fitness and experience of the Lions forwards started to show through and in the end they weren't threatened.
Mt Albert now take on Marist next weekend, while the Tornadoes' season is over.
Mt Albert Lions 42 (A. Bauer, A. Ikihele, S. Buckingham, K. Wright, P. Shead, A. Fungapo, M. Asaou tries; B. Lythe 7 goals)
Eastern Tornadoes 20 (J. Murphy, R. Gentles, P. Leuluai tries; J. Noble 4 goals).
Major semi-final: Marist Richmond v Mt Albert next weekend.
Canterbury into grand final, Sept 14.