Both Swords teams – the 17s and Premiers came crashing back down to earth after last week’s history making weekend. The 17s, who were sitting on Top of the Table got a lesson in how to play league by a rampant Counties Manukau Stingrays team. The Stingrays, who were missing five of their top players to the NZRL 18s team outclassed a helpless looking Swords team.
The game started like a top of the table clash with both teams trading early tries. The Swords looked every part of the table leading team they were. But Rugby League can be such a game of momentum. After 20 minutes with the scores at 10 – 4 to the Stingrays, Swords’ inspirational player, James Dean Fisher-Harris left the field with knee problems and almost immediately after, Wayne Iripa left the field with a broken collar bone – the Swords were deflated, and on top of this everything Counties Manakau, did came off for them.
The Stingrays then exposed a weak Swords ruck defence and picked the Swords apart piece by piece. “The Stingrays were awesome today and our guys played poorly, they didn’t know how to rescue the game and fell to pieces. But that can happen in Rugby League. The main thing is that the boys react positively and learn from it. This week they can put their season back on track when they play the Wellington Orcas in Hikurangi in what will be a Semi-Final match.” Alex Smits General Manager said. The Swords currently sit in 3rd position on points difference to Akarana and Counties Manukau (all three are on 8 points) with Wellington in 4th on 6 points.
Northern Swords 17s 8. Tries: Pana Matiu, Caleb Aekins
Counties Manuaka Stingrays 17s 62. Tries J Price (2), K Oneone (2), C Mahuika, V Tooala, J Hunt. Goals. C Mahuika (5)