April 2, 2021
A valiant Good Friday effort from Northland was not enough as they went down to Auckland White 40-32 to finish their NZRL National 20s campaign at Opaheke Reserve.
A strong start from Northland had them in the lead for parts of the first half, but they were unable to hold on in the second stanza despite Eroni Biukoto’s clinical hat trick.
The two sides went score for score through the opening half hour, with the superior kicking of Northland’s Kiles Kaiarake proving the only difference.
Biukoto’s second try late in the half looked to have given his side the lead at the break, before Patelo scored and Doux Kauhiva converted to lock the game at 22-all.
Manurewa half Teariki Ford took the game by the scruff of the neck, grubbering for himself to score, putting the Auckland side ahead – Julius Patelo then added another four-pointer soon after to increase the advantage.
Biukoto scored his third on 52 minutes bringing Northland back into the game, but this was countered by Oscar Amosa’s try out wide a few moments later.
Northland’s Dilano Henry Turner crossed under the posts with less than a minute to play to make the final score 40-32.
Auckland White 40 (Maddison Tekeu, Leon Marsters, Teariki Ford x2, Julius Patelo x2, Oscar Amosa tries; Doux Kauhiva x4, Teariki Ford x2 goals) def. Northland 32 (Jacob Hollobon, Kiles Kaiarake, Eroni Biukoto x3, Dilano Henry Turner tries; Kiles Kaiarake x4 goals) at Opaheke Reserve.