April 2, 2021 

Opaheke reserve hosted a second-half scoring blitz that saw Auckland Blue secure a big win over Wai-Coa-Bay on Friday afternoon in the final regular season match of the NZRL National 20s.

Knowing Blue had qualified for the Grand Final, Wai-Coa came to play and the Auckland side met their energy.

The home side trailed the impressive Wai-Coa-Bay at one point in the first half and led just 18-10 at the break, before piling on 28 points in the second stanza to ensure they remain unbeaten in the competition ahead of facing Central Districts in the decider next Saturday.

The game was just minutes old when Ali Leiataua got on the end of a kick to open the scoring, but the joy proved short lived for Auckland with Wai-Coa-Bay skipper Dayna Bidois quickly hitting back with a try of his own.

Wing Caleb Tane then gave the visitors the lead, before powerhouse Auckland back Albert Fifita busted through the line for a 60-metre try.

A converted try to Mt Albert forward Wiremu Kaire on the siren, at the end of an exciting passage of hot-potato footy, gave the hosts an 18-10 advantage at the half. 

Despite Wai-Coa Bays best efforts, the Auckland side proved too strong in the games second act.

A Johnson Murray try directly off a close-range scrum, another strike from Albert Fifita and a barging effort from the other Fifita on the park – Otahuhu prop Tupou Fifita – stretched Auckland’s lead out to 34-14. 

Middle forwards Sione Pule and Feao Tongia powered over late for tries which made it 46-14 at full time. 

Auckland 46 (Ali Leiataua, Albert Fifita x2, Wiremu Kaire, Johnson Murray, Tupou Fifita, Sione Pule, Feao Tongia tries; Caleb Laiman x3, Johnson Murray x2, Stanley Iongi x2 goals) def. Wai-Coa-Bay 14 (Dayna Bidois, Caleb Tane x2 tries; Bidois x1 goal) at Opaheke Reserve, Auckland.