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NPC Week 2 Review
NPC Week 2 Review
(pdeb tells it like it was...)
21 Aug 2000
[NPC]

Canterbury vs North Harbour , Jade Stadium

North Harbour forgot to bring their waterwings to Jade stadium on Friday night and paid the price, as they were comprehensively drowned by the locals. The Harbour blokes bravely traversed south of the Bombays to try and part the sea, but they didn't count on the ferocious defence of the red and black battlers lying in wait. All guns blazed right from the start with the Harbour blokes pouring on the pressure and gaining a mighty three point avantage after three minutes.

Unfortunately for them, the ball got slippery after that, and the boys from across the bridge got cocky with their huge lead and proceeded to throw the ball around like a hot potato. In defence of the boys, the ball may have felt hot compared to the freezing conditions, with the comentators continuously spewing on about the cold weather. They're obviously from the Northern end of the country.

Canterbury decided to pick the game up from then on in.. scoring a lucky try through Caleb Ralph from a Harbour fumble on half way..and then generally dominating play for the next hour. North Harbour decided that it wasn't polite to come down and play on their pitch, under their lights, and hang onto the ball for so long, so occasionally they'd just give the ball back to C'bury for no apparant reason. This happened about every five minutes!!

I think someone should check the wattage on the lights at Jade stadium to see if its legal. We know that it's at least a lot higher than at North harbour stadium, as the Harbour lads were mezmerized any time the ball was kicked by Canterbury. I don't think there was one kick caught all night by the Harbour team. Incompetence!!! By the end of the game they had stopped even trying to catch it.

Harbour tried all the fancy tricks in their repertoire, but with the rain driving down they just couldn't make the passes stick. There seemed to be no attacking flair (Except from Halfback) in the backline, and their forwards were determined not to get too much mud on their nice clean uniforms. This is in contrast to the Canty team, who chose a conservative approach of hitting the ball up and gaining some territory before moving the ball too wide - this can be proven by Calebs clean jersey at the end of the game. Not so Gibson's, after a very stylie dive after a ball that he wasn't even close too....

A deserved win to the Canty side..... although I see this more as the Harbour side determined to throw the game away..... in front of a crowd that would even make an Eden park administrator laugh.....

And surely something should be done about the amount of surface water on the ground... I'm surprised someone didn't drown in the middle of a ruck somewhere.

Outstanding players

Eric Rush - What a legend... as soon as he came on Harbour went on attack...

Mark Robinson - played a great game, culminating in him being hoisted on the shoulders of the Canterbury players 15 minutes before the end of the game. Unfortunately for him, he was a foot from the try line and trying to score at the time..

Canterbury No.20 .. Couldn't get a look at who this was for the rest of the game... but made an awesome tackle on defence... and gained 5 yards with it..

Ben Blair - I look forward to his confrontation with Adrian Cashmore.

Players that pissed me off...

Canterbury No.20 for getting in a cheap shot... punch on Mark Robinson that was not spotted by the ref, the touch judges,... or the comentators...

Rua Tipoki.... Can he catch a damn ball???

The Canterbury teams hands in the ruck! - At least three penalties should have resulted from these long limbs...

Waikato vs Northland , Rugby Park, Hamilton

The battle for the log of wood resumed on a higher level this weekend. Waikato, in a desperate attempt to raise the number of defences in the current reign had taken the log on tour to third division teams, but now they have to play the big boys again!... err.. Northland...

Having missed the first three minutes of the game, I have no idea what Waikato's first try was like, but I felt supremely confident of my pick (Waikato >12) when I turned on the TV. Half an hour later, I wasn't so sure.... Northland picked up the pace and scored a fine try through a rolling maul from 15m out. Sure love those rolling mauls.... keep em coming....

Anyway, Northland were not able to hold onto the ball, and although Waikato pissed around for a fair amount of time, they easily ran away in the end for the expected win and bonus point.

Otago vs Wellington

Missed the start of this game too.. and the the only try in the game. A hard slog for all involved, and not a very sexy game to watch.... but at least they had a full complement of goal posts at Carisbrook this week...

Counties-M vs Auckland

The trip down the motorway was suppossed to be easy - noone told Counties this and they came out as if the Auckland team had slept with their girlfriends. The tackling was ferocious! Counties had all the ball.... mainly due to the fact that the ball was spilt so much in these tackles.

Two tries resulted from all this pressure... both to Counties... and from different sprectrums of the game. The first was from a bad Auckland scrum and that B****** Tukino just jumped on the thing after the scrum had screwed and then come dribbling out the back. The second try was a lot better, and much more deserved, and it gave Counties a 17-3 lead.

The next 15 minutes meandered along without much quality play, until Wayne Pivac made a couple of changes just before half time... including bringing on Robin Brooke. The tempo increased quickly from there with Auckland scoring a quick try. They should have had another a minute before the break, but Carlos decided that although he could have scored himself, throwing the nolook pass to Cashmore was more stylie. Unfortunately, it was called forward... apparently the refs never taken 5th form physics and has never heard of momentum. It definately deserved a try.

So 17-10 in Counties favour at half time, but it looked like Auckland had just started playing.... and they continued after the break. It didn't take long for the scores to get locked at 17-17, but then the scoring stopped. Auckland dominated the play in the second half, but the Counties players were still there tackling away. It took until the last five minutes for Auckland to score the winning try... and they actually come close to scoring a fourth.

Overall, not a very high quality game, with plenty on spilt ball, and a Counties turf that Auckland couldn't seem to step on without falling over.

Outstanding players

Koula Tukino - this guy was everywhere, whenever Counties had the ball, it seemed to be in his hands. And he didn't exactly shy from the tackle either!

Players that Pissed Me Off

Koula Tukino - this guy was everywhere, but he was playing against Auckland, so that pissed me off!

Tanivula - This guy just can't fail to piss me off. Why we have him instead of the "Legend of Eroni" at centre, I don't know!!

So this week's NPC was a week for the knock-on and for southern games to be played in the local swimming pools (although Carisbrook seemed to handle it better than Jade stadium).

So Waikato are top of the table with maximum points... although I still don't like their chances of keeping the shield all year...

by

Let us know what you think!

A bloody impressive review of the weekends matches pdeb, keep that up and you'll almost be as legendary as me one day!

btw, your Auks were bloody lucky!

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