Vulcans lose ground in top eight hunt
Sunday 15 July 2012 6:57 PM
The Auckland Vulcans’ tight 20-24 loss to the Mounties and other results in the round have left the side three points outside the New South Wales Cup’s top eight.
Coach Ricky Henry and his players were in reasonable shape early in the second half of their 19th-round match against Canberra’s feeder club on Saturday.
The Vulcans had gone to halftime 14-12 ahead in the away fixture and stretched out to 20-14 soon after the break when interchange prop Daniel Palavi put Niuvao Taka over between the posts.
But two strikes by the Mounties had them leading 24-20 midway through the second half. While there was plenty of time left for the Vulcans to regain the lead they couldn’t make it happen, leaving them to settle for another close defeat for an eight win-10 loss record so far.
They remain on 18 points, three behind the eighth-placed Illawarra Cutters who had a bye this weekend.
Earlier in the match the Vulcans had a good period in the first half when they created three tries to build a narrow halftime lead.
At Mount Pritchard Sports Ground
Mounties 24 (Eddie El-Zbaidieh 2, Pat Galea, Sami Sauiluma tries; Scott Jones 4 conversions).
Auckland Vulcans 20 (DJ Collier, Aaron Nootai, Willie Stowers, Niuvao Taka tries; DJ Collier 2 conversions).
Halftime: 14-12 Vulcans.