Ninety two points scored in a game. Not a great defensive look, in any game, but that was number scored in today's early Bartercard Cup game at Ericcson Stadium, where Otahuhu Ellerslie rolled Waicoa Bay, 58/34.
The game started with the obligatory first five minutes of testing each other out. Five in, and Warrior's player, Cooper Vuna, scored the first of what was going to be a four try haul for the day. Fifteen minutes in and Otahuhu Ellerslie had scored two more. 16/0 and thoughts of a complete walk over were going through the mind.
No - big Waicoa Bay prop, Thomas Ufi, had other ideas. This fellow, ex Counties Manukau Jetz, is a big unit, but he is extremely agile. Through he goes for a classic props, barging, half stepping try. The kicker, winger, Te Teira Davis is on target and it's 16/6. The boys from theBay are fired up and six minutes later, winger, Davis scores a four pointer. Ten minutes from the break and Otahuhu Ellerslie five eight, Thomas Zwart, grabs one that he converts himself and the score at the break is 16/10.
Half time and it's a six point ball game. The Otahuhu Ellerslie forwards were doing a heap of damage and setting a brilliant platform for the outside backs. Waicoa Bay were certainly not out of the game though, but some of their more experienced players were not stepping up, despite the cajoling of Coach, Tawera Nikau. A big man with a big heart but an even bigger voice that was filling Ericcson Stadium - great stuff.
The second half, and another five or so minutes of settling, then the home side take first honours. Ten minutes in and Otahuhu Ellerslie are in front 34/14. Waicoa, not to be outdone, score two quick ones to pull it back to 34/24.
The next fifteen minute passage saw Otahuhu Ellerslie score four converted efforts to take them out to 58/24. They took their foot off slightly and Waicoa, belatedly, hit their straps. Second rower, Sam Rapira, started to come into his own and the side from South of the Bombays scored two before the end.
58/34, not a game that purists would hale as great, but entertaining with that number of tries. Waicoa Bay certainly have the talent. They are a fairly young side and I'm sure they will upset more than a few more fancied sides before the season is out.
Of concern to Otahuhu Ellerslie and the Warriors would be the hobbling off of loose forward, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, thirty minutes into the game with what looked like a fairly serious injury to his leg. He failed to reappear on the bench after half-time.