The Akarana Falcons 15s have begun their national title defence strongly with a commanding 60-4 victory over the Wellington Orcas today. Taylor Raj and Naisa Pahulu scoring two tries each in the one-sided result. They’ll be keeping a close eye on their Pool A rivals Counties Manukau, who ran up an impressive 46-0 victory over the Central Vipers.

In Pool B, The Auckland Vulcans were too good for the Northern Swords winning 40-12, with the South Island Scorpions outplaying Wai-Coa-Bay 30-18. Uriah Tuli scored a double for the Scorpions, who face the Vulcans at midday tomorrow. Wai-Coa-Bay and Northland will both be seeking their first win against each other in the other Pool B match on Tuesday.

In the 17s grade, 2017 champions Counties Manukau came from behind to beat Wellington 26-14. NZ 16s representative players Sione Moala and Taniela Otukolo were standouts for the Stingrays, with Orcas halfback Dallas McEwan performing admirably despite the final result. The Akarana 17s started their campaign well with a 46-0 victory over the Northern Swords; centres Naufahu Whyte and Samuel Kamu both crossing the line for the Falcons.

The South Island Scorpions marched to an important 28-20 victory over the Central Vipers. Griffin Neame and Caius Fa’atili standouts for the southerners, who survived a late charge lead by Tyson Chase and Tyrese Ratahi. The Auckland Vulcans were too good for Wai-Coa-Bay, running out 26-12 victors. Despite being behind at half-time, the Vulcans managed to get around the outside of the local side, with backs Okusitino Lui and L’ia Julius Lafaele bagging doubles for the Aucklanders.

The Vulcans head into a blockbuster match tomorrow with Counties-Manukau Stingrays; with Wai-Coa-Bay facing Wellington in the other match in Pool C. In Pool D, Akarana Falcons take on the Central Vipers, and South Island Scorpions playing the Northern Swords.

Results Monday 1 October:

17s grade:

Counties Manukau Stingrays 26 (Soakai Taufa, Taniela Otukolo, Feao Tongia, Albert Talakai, Tyrone Waipouri; Sione Moala 3 goals) Wellington Orcas 14 (Blaine Betham-Ta’ape, Maui Wallace; Stanley Fiso 3 goals)

Auckland Vulcans 26 (Okusitino Lui 2, L’ia Julius Lafaele 2, Ativalu Lisati; Konrad Tu’ua 4 goals) Wai-Coa-Bay Colts 12 (Sean Field, Ben Fosita; Ceiza James 2 goals)

Akarana Falcons 46 (Naufahu Whyte 2, Seeti Kuresa, Samuel Kamu, Lani Graham-Taufa, TJ Devery, Timothy Vogel, Totive Junior Tuilesu; Samuel Kamu 3 goals, Seeti Kuresa 1 goal, TJ Devery 1 goal) Northern Swords 0

South Island Scorpions 28 (Griffin Neame 2, Sincere Harraway, Leo Petelo, Caius Fa’atili, Jordan Aldridge; Caius Fa’atili 2 goals) Central Vipers 20 (Zamayo Lilo-Mariu, Potene Rolls-Paewai, Hiraka Wanakore, Tyson Chase; Tyrese Ratahi 1 goal, Potene Rolls-Paewai 1 goal)

15s grade:

Akarana Falcons 60 (Taylor Raj 2, Naisa Pahulu 2, Ethan Moughan, Tony Tafa, Benaiah Ioelu, Geneva Tuitupou, Louis Dehar-Webster, Deine Mariner; Sebastyan Jack 4 goals, Keano Kini 4 goals) Wellington Orcas 4 (Joshua Williams)

Counties-Manukau Stingrays 46 (Kavan Thompson-Campbell 2, Carlos Tarawhiti 2, Brayden Easthope-Seu 2; Nui-Alinghi Peni, Ali Leiataua, Nathaniel Skelton; Francis Manuleleua 5 goals) Central Vipers 0

Auckland Vulcans 40 (Nathaniel Cama, Filipo Whitehouse-Opetaia Tovio, Charlie Leaumoana, Michael Angelo Taufa, Stanley Iongi, Heneli Luani, Sione Vaihu, Sioeli Fa’anunu; Tremein Campbell 4 goals) Northern Swords 12 (Jarvaiyas Mangu, Robin Herbert, Haiapai Leef)

South Island Scorpions 30 (Uriah Tuli 2, Unalato Uasi, Ethan Faitaua, Jaedon Wellington; Matthew Logopati 4 goals, Riley Pascoe 1 goal) Wai-Coa-Bay Colts 18 (Manaia Ngataki-Matthews 2, Te Whatiki Childs-Katene; Tome Poona 3 goals)