Press Release – New Zealand Rugby League
Pirtek NZRL National Premiership – Vipers strike to snap slump
After almost two years without success, Central Vipers have broken their losing run in the Pirtek NZRL National Premiership, with a 32-22 road win over Wellington Orcas at Porirua Park.
Trailing 16-12 at halftime, the visitors edged ahead with tries to five-eighth Dylan Hall and winger Joe Ratu – their second each – soon after the restart, and finally clinched the result with a late double to scrumhalf Aarron Whitikia.
The Vipers last tasted victory in Round Three of 2012, when they defeated Northern Swords 36-8. They went winless through last season, conceding 100 points to Counties Manukau in their final outing.
But they hinted at better things in last week’s 2014 season opener, pushing Canterbury Bulls all the way in an 18-12 defeat.
The outcome leaves both teams with a 1-1 record early in the competition – Wellington host Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions next week, while Central travel north, hoping for a closer match-up against the Stingrays this time.
Tomorrow, Counties open their account on the road against the Swords in Whangarei and the Stallions host the Bulls in Huntly.
PIRTEK NZRL NATIONAL PREMIERSHIP
Saturday, August 30
Porirua Park, Wellington
Central Vipers 32 (Aarron Whitikea 2, Joe Ratu 2, Dylan Hall 2 tries; Whitikea 4 goals) Wellington Orcas 22 (Paul Lemana 2, David Saumolia, Petera Rikiriki-Williams tries; Shaun Playford 3 goals); HT: 12-16
Vipers: 1-Aarron Whitikia,2-Joe Ratu, 4-Josh Kerr, 3-Vailoa Kereti, 5-Tyson Young, 6-Dylan Hall, 7-Cruz Rauner, 10-Sione Sifa, 9-Colin Hokianga, 16-Gorden Karaitiana, 11-Jarrod Morfett, 12-Wiremu McSeveny, 13-Richard Gillies, 14-Travell Ngatoko, 8-Kele Kose, 17-Ale Feaunati, 21-Williams Schuster
Orcas: 1-Anthony Utanga, 2-Bernard Gregorius, 4-Robin Yates, 3-Ben Tuia, 5-David Saumolia, 6-Shaun Playford, 7-Petera Rikiriki, 8-Robbie McKenzie, 9-Michael O’Brien, 10-Chance Haua-Tauri, 11-Josh Kohika, 16-Paul Lemana, 13-Michael Nathan, 14- Denzil Hokianaga, 15-Jon-Marc Stowers, 16-Robin Yates, 17-Pahi Vulu, 18- Fe’aomoeata Fakalelu