Captain Toafofoa Sipley, second rower Matiu Love-Henry and centre Nathaniel Roache all scored doubles as the Vodafone Junior Warriors racked up a second straight big win in accounting for Parramatta 38-10 in today’s third-round NYC clash at Mount Smart Stadium.
The Kelvin Wright-coached side’s defence created the launching pad for a powerful second half performance which netted 28 points after leading 10-4 at the break.
Among their seven touchdowns was an early contender for one of the most amazing tries of the year.
Ata Hingano’s last tackle kick was running into touch in-goal when wing Tomas Aoake hunted it down, flicking it back between Parramatta fullback Nathan Davis’ legs for Love-Henry to pounce for his second try.
Then in the 75th minute a similar play delivered a try when another Hingano kick teased the Eels' defence. This time Aoake dashed through to get downward pressure on the ball as two Parramatta defenders dithered, willing the ball to run dead. They were left embarrassed while Aoake and his team-mates celebrated.
With three tries in the game’s latter stages, the Vodafone Junior Warriors were able to put clear distance on the Eels on the scoreboard.
They’d worked hard defensively in the first half to repel the Eels while putting on tries to Love-Henry and then Sipley just before halftime. Sipley’s second try straight after the break had the side out to a 16-4 lead but it wasn’t until Roache scored the first of his tries in the 58th minute that the Vodafone Junior Warriors were able gain a measure of ascendancy.
They dominated the game in the key areas, not least defensively where they missed just 15 tackles to Parramatta’s 34.
With the ball they had a completion rate of just over 70 per cent with eight players topping 100 metres and another two all but cracking three figures.
The top metre gainer was Sipley with 159 from 16 runs while he also had six tackle breaks, two line breaks and three offloads plus 21 tackles.
Next up the Vodafone Junior Warriors take on Brisbane back at Mount Smart Stadium next Sunday (March 29).
Match details | Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
Vodafone Junior Warriors 38 (Matiu Love-Henry 2, Toafofoa Sipley 2, Nathaniel Roache 2, Tomas Aoake tries; Ata Hingano 5 conversions).
Parramatta Eels 10 (Bevan French, Reimis Smith tries; Nathan Davis conversion).
Halftime: 10-4 Vodafone Junior Warriors.
Referees: Peter Gough and Shane Rehm.
Vodafone Junior Warriors: Mikaere Beattie; Tomas Aoake, Nathaniel Roache, Semisi Tyrell, Paul Ulberg; Ata Hingano, Erin Clark; Bunty Afoa, Sheldon Pitama, Toafoafoa Sipley (c); Marata Niukore, Matiu Love-Henry; Jazz Tevaga. Interchange: Ofahiki Ogden, Amoni Tufui, Isaiah Cooper-Tetevano, Lewis Soosemea.