Eels romp to win in Muri

Monday April 16, 2018 Written by Published in League

The match of the week in the domestic rugby league competition was unfortunately a one-sided affair on Saturday, as the Avatiu/Nikao Eels stomped the Ngatangiia/Matavera Sea Eagles on their way to a 34-8 victory.

 

The game was played at Nukupure Park in Muri, which has become something of a fortress in recent times for the Sea Eagles and was packed to the brim with supporters, who thoroughly approved of their team gaining an early lead via a penalty.

That was the first and last time the home side held the advantage however, as the Eels ran rampant for the rest of the match, in particular finding a great deal of success down the right-hand side.

Right centre Tua Ravula was especially unstoppable in the first half. Getting the ball on the right wing, he palmed off Allan Toa, drew in the fullback, and sent Taylor Daniel away to score.

Later, he went on a bobbing, weaving, tackle-busting run that saw him brought down just inches from the try line.

Having taken about four defenders to drag him down, a simple cut-out pass to Lai Logologinalu saw him touch down with ease, giving the Eels a 10-2 advantage.

And it wasn’t just on the scoreboard that they dominated.

The Sea Eagles forward pack, led by the likes of Alex Kermode and Andrew, had been their sustaining force in their five-match unbeaten streak.

Here, they were bullied, smashed at every opportunity by the ferocious visitors’ forwards.

Toa Tuaia in particular seemed to be head hunting, putting in a number of big shots that dislodged the ball or drove the attackers backwards.

Although the Sea Eagles were able to get a number of scoring chances, halves Juwaan Terekia and Daniel Toa were given very little room to breathe, and often had to absorb contact rather than spreading the ball wide.

Another Eels try, coming right before the half, had things looking like the match was done and dusted. They came out sluggish in the opening of the second half however, making routine errors that were non-existent in the first half, while the home side seemed reinvigorated. Prop Usaia Sivo stood out, as he was able to gain some momentum and make metres against the previously unbreakable Eels brick wall.

Sivo was rewarded with a try, by carrying his opponents over the line right next to the sticks to make it 14-8, and giving the home side a glimmer of hope.

That was soon undone by another Eels try, where they exploited a weakness in the defensive line to score right near the posts.

But still the Sea Eagles persisted, until their spirit was broken right as the Eels try line beckoned.

The Eels were backed up on their goal line, and a strong defensive set of six from the home side could have forced a mistake in a prime location. However, Hiro was able to beat one defender and run to score a nearly 100-metre try, outstripping the covering Sea Eagles defenders.

Two more Eels tries, including one to Ravula to cap off a fantastic match, sealed the deal, with the match ending on a debatable Sea Eagles try in the corner that the ref deemed to be no good.

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