Week two of the Bartercard Cup can be best described as a week of upsets compared to last weeks results, with three teams providing big upsets.
Again the football was again of a high standard and discarded Warrior players are putting their mark on the game. Who would of thought that after two weeks of football that Warriors prop Iafeta Paleaasina would be leading the top try scores list with FIVE tries!! Surely his form warrants a recall to the Warriors this weekend.
After two rounds the two new teams Waicoa Bay and Counties are second and third on the table, under last years runners up Marist. With three teams undefeated and two teams yet to register a points, 2004 is already starting to shape up as the closest season yet. Round 2 kicked off on Friday night in Wellington, with Wellington taking on the Jets in a tough encounter. The Jets were on fire at halftime leading 20 - 4, but two tries a piece to man of the moment Simon Mannering and Warrior Vince Mellars, helped Wellington come storming back in the second half to draw the match 26 all. Warrior players Herangi and Fa'afili picked up a try each for Counties. Vince Mellars is another Warrior putting his hand up to be selected, and with try scoring form like this should see him get a chance in the near future. On Saturday at Murray Halberg Park, saw the form team after round one Marist Richmond Brothers take on Glenora Bears. The Bears were looking to improve on last weeks performance, put up a brave fight to only be down 14-4 at halftime. Needing to keep Marist scoreless in the second half to have any chance of wining, Glenora was unable to stop the flow of points as Marist went on to score 16 more points in the second half to put away the spirited Bears 30-16. The Bears will take alot of heart out of this match and will be looking for their first win next week as the sit second to last on the table. For the second week in a row, Central had a home game at Fitzherbert Park, Palmerston North and were looking for a much improved performance on last weeks hiding from Marist. The Falcons took on North Harbour Tigers, who were looking to prove a point after losing in the dying minutes to the Stallions last week. And a it was a game of two halves, as the Tigers went on a demolition job in the first 40 minutes racking up a point a minute to lead 40-10 at halftime. The faithful Central fans must have wondered what had hit them, but what ever was said at half time worked for the Falcons as they came out and won the second half 16-6. Unfortunately for the Falcons winning one half of football was not good enough as they went down fighting 46-26. They are nearly firmly at the bottom of the table and need to find form fast as they will be playing in the curtain raiser to the Warriors next Sunday live on Sky TV. For the Tigers, outstanding Warriors rookie Louis Anderson picked up two tries as did Fortes as the Tigers scored eight tries to five. Central have now conceded 106 points in two matches. First upset of the round saw the defending Champions Canterbury Bulls travel to Whangaparaoa to take on the Raiders. Hibiscus Coast lead 12-6 at half time, before a second half scoring spree by both teams saw the Bulls come away with a narrow 32-30 victory. As said before, Iafeta Paleaasina was on fire scoring three tries as the Raiders fell just short on their home turf. Asi off the bench was a stand out player for the Bulls picking a two tries, with halfback Clarkson adding four goals. The victory will help the Bulls put their title defence back on track after a shock loss to the Jets last week, as for the Raiders this could only be described as the one that got away. Second upset of the round saw Otahuhu Ellerslie travel to Fowlds Park and beat Mt Albert Lions 32-28. Otahuhu winger Ruka picked up a hat-trick of tries in a match where defence was anything but solid. Otahuhu score seven tries to the Lions six, with both teams adding two goals apiece. For the Lions, bench player Malietoa-Brown scored a double and ex Warrior Anthony Swann picked up a try. The last match of the round, and the third upset of the round saw the two undefeated teams Waicoa Bay take on Eastern Manukau Tornadoes at Ericsson number two. In a match where the Tornadoes were picked to have too much strength for the Stallions, the Stallions cooked up on the Tornadoes in the second half to score 28 unanswered points after been down 4-2 at the break. Two tries to replacement Kaa, and seven goals to Karena helped the Stallions make it two from two and start some momentum for the team. So far this year the winning margins have been: 28+ : 1 21-27 : 1 14-20 : 3 7-13 : 3 0-6 :3 Draw: 1
Friday 23 April 2004: Wellington vs Counties Manukau Jets Hutt Recreation Ground, Wellington Wellington 26 F. Laumua, S. Mannering (2), V. Mellars (2) : Tries J. McDonald (3) : Goals Counties Manukau Jets 26 H. Fa'afili, J. Ioapo, A. Herangi, S. Fa'alogo (2) : Tries J. Ioapo (3) : Goals Halftime Score : 20 - 4 To Jets
Saturday 24 April 2004: Marist Richmond Brothers vs Glenora Bears Murray Halberg Park, Auckland Marist Richmond Brothers 30 J. Tavita, H. Kapi, W. Letiu, M. Perenara, T. Ropati (2) : Tries G. Rota (3) : Goals Glenora Bears 16 G. Lilo, C. Nahu (2) : Tries G. Lilo (2) : Goals Halftime Score : 14 - 4 To Marist
Central Falcons vs North Harbour Tigers Fitzherbert Park, Palmerston North North Harbour Tigers 46 J. Kamariena, D. Moses, T. Samoa, K. Johnson, T.Fortes (2), L. Anderson (2) : Tries J. Trott (7) : Goals Central Falcons 26 S. Forbes, W. Live, L. Eriha, M. Graham, D. Fa'apito : Tries L. Eriha (3) : Goals Halftime Score : 40 - 10 To Tigers
Hibiscus Coast Raiders vs Canterbury Bulls Stanmore Bay Reserve, Whangaparaoa Canterbury Bulls 32 P. McDonald, M. Clarkson, V. Whare, A Auimatagi, P. Asi (2) : Tries M. Clarkson (4) : Goals Hibiscus Coast Raiders 30 O. Manuel, P. Prime, I. Paleaasina (3) : Tries D. Floyd (5) : Goals Halftime Score : 12 - 6 To Raiders
Mt Albert Lions vs Otahuhu Ellerslie Fowlds Park, Auckland Otahuhu Ellerslie 32 M. Vatuvei, J. Yandall, P. Fisiiahi (2), G. Ruka (3) : Tries C. Wetini (2) : Goals Mt Albert Lions 28 R. Godfrey, M. Manu, A. Swann, A. Bauer, G. Malietoa-Brown (2) : Tries S. Buckingham (2) : Goals Sun 25 April 2004: Waicoa Bay vs Eastern Manukau Tornadoes, Ericsson 2, Auckland
Waicoa Bay 30 B.Ingram, J. Kaho, N. Kaa 2, tries H.Karena 7 goals Eastern Manukau Tornadoes 4 N. Ngametea Halftime Score: 4 - 2 to Tornadoes
Standings after Round 2: 1. Brothers 4 2. Stallions 4 3. Jets 3 4. Tigers 2 5. Raiders 2 6. Lions 2 7. Otahuhu 2 8. Tornadoes 2 9. Bulls 2 10. Wellington 1 11. Bears 0 12. Falcons 0