‘Hulk’ Mataora helps with Panthers win

Monday February 26, 2018 Written by Published in League
Second rower Rangi Piri rises above the rest to claim an up-and-under. 180225129 Second rower Rangi Piri rises above the rest to claim an up-and-under. 180225129

A hard running Tupapa Panthers side were able to capitalise on the mistakes of their Arorangi Bears opponents as they cruised to a 34-12 victory in the third round of the domestic rugby league competition on Saturday.

 

The big news coming into the game was that former NRL forward Sam Mataora would be pulling on the jersey for the Panthers, and he did not disappoint in his appearance off the bench.

Every carry, three or four Arorangi defenders were required to bring down the hulking forward, and he was unlucky not to grab a try as a cherry on top.

As a team the Panthers, playing at home, dominated the contact and were able to create space with the clever running of Joe Vetaukula.

His dynamic play making created acres of space in the right side, Othniel Joseph, had at least three or four try scoring chances.

Despite the score heavily favouring the home side, the Bears were more than up for the match early on.

Andre Iro in particular stood out with his tough running, and at one point, at six a piece, it was anyone’s guess who would win the game.

However, the Bears spilled a number of carries, surprising given the sunny condition, and the up-tempo Panthers defence created problems for the halves.

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