Likiliki triple powers Vodafone Junior Warriors
Saturday 7 July 2012 9:29 PM
Monster prop turned winger Toka Likiliki stole the limelight with a three-try display as the Vodafone Junior Warriors went to the top of the NYC ladder with a 38-22 win over Gold Coast at Skilled Park in Robina tonight.
In his second start on the left wing, Likiliki had his first try in the 28th minute before scoring two more in the 49th and 57th minutes to take his side out to a 32-12 lead.
While they conceded two tries to lead just 32-22 with six minutes, the Vodafone Junior Warriors finished the job off with a late try to hooker Siliva Havili to win by 16 points.
With Canberra losing 30-34 to Melbourne earlier in the evening, the Vodafone Junior Warriors were able to climb into second spot on 27 points.
They started the match strongly with tries in the first quarter to winger Viliami Lolohea – his ninth in nine matches – and loose forward David Bhana, Mason Lino converting both for a 12-0 lead.
While Gold Coast responded with a try, the Vodafone Junior Warriors reacted admirably by giving their, Likiliki scoring as he hit and spun near the line and then turned to plant the ball for his first try. Lino’s conversion was superb from the side-line to give his side an 18-6 lead at the break.
Straight after halftime they came at the Titans with a two-try assault in the opening phase of the spell, first Trent Bishop darting from dummy half and off-loading for centre Ngataua Hukatai to score and then Carlos Tuimavave taking on the line, getting a great ball away and Likiliki going in at the corner. Mason missed but the Vodafone Junior Warriors were looking good at 28-6.
While another Gold Coast try followed soon after, Likiliki soon restored the balance of power. Taking a long Tuimavave pass, he bumped off his opposite and dismissed the cover to score his third, Lino again unable to convert. In one game Likiliki had quadrupled his career try-scoring output.
A 32-12 lead with 23 minutes to play seemed comfortable until the Titans came back with two tries to trail by only 10 points. It might have been cause for some anxiety but the clock was a friend in denying Gold Coast more joy yet still allowing enough time for Havili to close out the deal with his 11th try of the season.
At Skilled Park, Robina
Gold Coast Titans 22 (Tom Gymer 2, Kayne Elgey, Nick Harold tries; Jamal Fogarty 3 conversions).
Vodafone Junior Warriors 38 (Toka Likiliki 3, Viliami Lolohea, David Bhana, Ngataua Hukatai, Siliva Havili tries; Mason Lino 5 conversions).
Halftime: 18-6 Vodafone Junior Warriors.
Referee: Nick Morel.
Vodafone Junior Warriors: Peta Hiku; Viliami Lolohea, Ngani Laumape, Ngataua Hukatai, Toka Likiliki; Carlos Tuimavave, Mason Lino; Ligi Sao, Siliva Havili, Nathaniel Peteru; Raymond Faitala-Mariner, John Palavi (c); David Bhana. Interchange: Sione Feao, Siulongoua Fotofili, Trent Bishop, James Taylor.