17 October 2021
Puketawhero Park in Rotorua played host to the Upper Central Stallions and Wellington Orcas, in their National Men’s Competition matchup. Upper Central showed no signs of rust despite this being their first outing in the tournament and sailed to a 30-12 win over Wellington. This win moved the Stallions into second in the Central pool, with Waikato leading due to points differential.
Canterbury and Wellington women put on a thrilling 20-20 draw at Christchurch’s Nga Puna Wai. Canterbury possessed a slight advantage into the half and pushed it further by striking early in the second. With the game in the balance at 20-16, Wellington produced the spectacular, scoring with only seconds on the clock to level the scores but were unable to convert leaving both teams to share the honours. This result places both teams tied at the top of the leaderboard with three points each, only separated by points difference and with Canterbury possessing a game in hand.
The Upper Central Stallions convincingly got the win over the Mid Central Vipers with a 58-10 victory, keeping them at second place in the Central Men’s pool. Nga Puna Wai then played host to the upset of the season as first placed Bulls took on second place Otago Whalers for the first time in 50 years.
It was the Whalers that came out firing scoring the first points for the game but the Bulls didn’t take long to answer back. The Whalers kept their upper hand throughout the first half and despite conversion misses, they lead the home side favourites 18 points to 12 at the break.
The Whalers determination didn’t waver at halftime as they came out of the sheds hungry for a win. The Bulls managed to keep themselves in the contest, as the final five minutes was a nail biter for both coaches with only eight points between the two. However, the gutsy Otago outfit came away with a historic 36 – 28 victory over the Canterbury Bulls closing off an outstanding day of footy at Christchurch’s Nga Puna Wai stadium.