In a dour, and at times, ill disciplined, game, the Mt Albert Lions defeated the Otahuhu Ellerslie side, 19/12, at Ericsson today, in their Bartercard Cup encounter.
Otahuhu Hooker, Gene Vaafusuaga, opened their account, with Thomas Zwart adding the extra two. Zwart was next to score, knocking over a fairly easy penalty. Mt Albert Hooker, Fale Taleapa, got one back for the Lions and the reliable boot of Steve Buckingham took it to 8/6.
Eight six at the break and this game was not sparkling.
Early in the second half, and Vaafusuaga grabbed his second for the day. Ill discipline really set in and both sides had players in the bin. Following a ruck, the Otahuhu Ellerslie side had a player sent off, for a knee to the head of a Lions player. Steve Buckingham took advantage of the situation and scored a self converted effort to lock it up at twelve all.
Mt Albert Centre, Patrick Ah Van, scored a beauty, Buckingham snapped a field goal and the clock ran down with the score at 19/12.
Not a great game, but I guess both teams can take positives away. The Lions collect another two, all important, points and the Otahuhu Ellerslie team have proved, once again, that they can compete against the very best. I have a feeling that this Otahuhu outfit could go on to be a truly great team - the balance of this season will tell.