The Auckland Vulcans and South Island Scorpions have caused stunning upsets in the 15s semi-finals to both advance to tomorrow’s final. Hundreds surrounded field two as the Vulcans battled the more-fancied Stingrays, which was scoreless heading into the second half. Counties edged ahead by two thanks to a penalty goal, before a try to the Vulcans stole the lead. In the final minutes of the game, Kavan Thompson-Campbell crossed in the left corner to put the Stingrays up by two. But a never say die attitude saw the Vulcans push right to the hooter, and Vulcans half Michael Angelo Taufa scored a remarkable game winning try to the delight of the crowd.
In the other 15s semi-final, the South Island Scorpions were far too strong for the Akarana Falcons running out 22-12 winners. Midway through the second half the Scorpions lead by 16, thanks to a great platform set by forwards Jaedon Wellington, Uriah Tuli and Felix Fa’atili. They’ll look to replicate today’s form in tomorrow final, when they face the Auckland Vulcans.
In the 17s grade, Counties Manukau Stingrays were far too classy for the South Island Scorpions romping to a 44-8 victory in their semi-final. Captain Paea Fotu had a strong game for Counties, as did fullback Xavier Stevens-Teo who crossed twice for the Stingrays. In the other semi-final, Akarana Falcons outlasted rivals Auckland Vulcans securing a 22-16 win. Konrad Tu’ua put in another strong performance for the Vulcans, as did centre Naufahu Whyte for the Falcons. Akarana will look forward to yet another battle against cross-town rivals Counties Manukau Stingrays in tomorrow’s 17s final.
NZRL will be streaming both the 15s and 17s finals live on the NZRL Facebook – Full results and schedule for finals day below.
Semi-Final: Auckland Vulcans 8 (Michael Angelo Taufa, Filip Whitehouse-Opetaia Tovio) Counties Manukau Stingrays 6 (Kavan Thompson-Campbell; Francis Manuleleua 1 goal)
Semi-Final: South Island Scorpions 22 (Jaedon Wellington, Uriah Tuli, Alesana Mailei, Dean Wisdom; Matthew Logopati 3 goals) Akarana Falcons 12 (Taylor Raj, Louis Dehar-Webster, Tevita Tafea)
Playoff: Northern Swords 18 (Taonui Henry 2, Johnny Reg Boyce, Jevahn Apetera; Te Tairawhiti Heanga-Croft 1 goal) Central Vipers 0
Playoff: Wai-Coa-Bay Colts 42 (Jarvis Hemopo 2, Cassius Cowley 2, Te Awa Daniela, Mahaki Jay Hetet-Wairau, Whareporera Hare-Herbert; Tome Poona 6 goals) Wellington Orcas 4 (Natona Taula)
Day 5 Schedule:
7th & 8th playoff: Central Vipers v Wellington Orcas (10:00am)
5th & 6th playoff: Northern Swords v Wai-Coa-Bay Colts (10:00am)
3rd & 4th playoff: Counties Manukau Stingrays v Akarana Falcons (11:30am)
Final: Auckland Vulcans v South Island Scorpions (12:30pm)
Semi-Final: Counties Manukau Stingrays 44 (Sione Moala 2, Xavier Stevens-Teo 2, Soakai Taufa, Taniela Otukolo, Albert Talakai, Mathew Palu; Tyrone Waipouri 6 goals) South Island Scorpions 8 (Elijah Tuhura, Montel Lisula Peppard-Peopaati)
Semi-Final: Akarana Falcons 22 (Naufahu Whyte 2, Seeti Kuresa, TJ Devery, Asolelei Fretton; Samuel Kamu 1 goal) Auckland Vulcans 16 (Tray Lolesio 2, Konrad Tu’ua; Riaihe Jacobs 2 goals)
Playoff: Wellington Orcas 16 (Josiah Lealamisa 2, Rakkahn Chalmers-Miller; Ebenezer Rota 2 goals)
Central Vipers 14 (Joseph Gavigan, Zamaya Lilo-Maru, Tipene Reweti; Potene Rolls-Paewai 1 goal)
Playoff: Wai-Coa-Bay Colts 28 (Connor Dobbyn 2, Jay Te Kani 2, Navarone Walker, Las Filo, Tumatauenga Te Koi; Ceiza James 2 goals) Northern Swords 20 (Kiarn Reihana, Adam Pomare, Klies Kaiarake, Manny Snooks; Eroni Biukoto 2 goals)
Day 5 Schedule:
7th & 8th playoff: Central Vipers v Northern Swords (9:30am)
5th & 6th playoff: Wellington Orcas v Wai-Coa-Bay Colts (9:30am)
3rd & 4th playoff: Auckland Vulcans v South Island Scorpions (11:00am)
Final: Counties Manukau Stingrays v Akarana Falcons (2:00pm)