Vulcans' defensive grit snares victory
Saturday 7 July 2012 5:26 PM
Courageous second half defence earned the Auckland Vulcans a critical 22-18 win over the higher-placed Newtown Jets in today’s 18th-round New South Wales Cup clash at Mount Smart Stadium No 2.
The result is unlikely to gain the Vulcans a place back in the top eight just yet but, by moving up to 18 points, they’ve ensured they remain right in contact.
Not that today’s win came easily even though the Vulcans were in sound shape leading 22-4 at halftime.
They’d scored in the opening minutes of the match through hooker Aaron Nootai before the Jets drew level with a try to former Vodafone Junior Warrior Adam Henry, who recently made his NRL debut for the Sydney Roosters.
Soon enough, though, the contest changed complexion completely as the Vulcans put together an impressive run of three tries through Vodafone Warriors NRL squad member Sam Lousi, winger Willie Peace and Ivan Penehe, another player from the Vodafone Warriors’ NRL squad. With 2011 Vodafone Junior Warrior DJ Collier converting all three, the Vulcans were in charge leading 22-4 at halftime.
But just as quickly the flow of the match changed in the second spell as the Jets bit back into the contest. Their hero was winger Daniel Tupou who picked up three tries to bring it back to 18-22 with 15 minutes still to go. Luckily only one of the tries was converted.
Still the momentum was well and truly with the visitors, who were suddenly odds-on to surge past the Vulcans. The locals, though, were not to be denied, defending tenaciously to protect their narrow lead and ultimately holding on for success.
At Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
Auckland Vulcans 22 (Aaron Nootai, Sam Lousi, Willie Peace, Ivan Penehe tries; DJ Collier 3 conversions).
Newtown Jets 18 (Daniel Tupou 3, Adam Henry tries; Blake Lazarus conversion).
Halftime: 22-4 Vulcans.
Referee: Daniel Caddy.