The Premier 1st team played New Lynn Stags at Grey Lynn Park. Prop forward Hans Leaunae and stand off Joshua Siaosi were players called up for the Premier grade team in which club journeyman Stan Bourke and team mate Anthony Auvaa stepped up from the interchange bench.
The first 40 minutes showed much experience and grit with strong carries from forwards Logan Wright, Andrew Kake and loose forward captain Bronson Harden. Rob Vaii and Lance Wright combined well organizing the outside backs and targeted the visiting Stags fringes. Full back Aaron Unasa showed great class and evasiveness to run 80 metres untouched for one of his tries. Centre Nio Strickland also showed great experience and pace to skip through some flimsy defence to score from the scrum. He later ran 60 metres to score untouched. Some sublime footwork and vision saw hooker Josh Mana carve his way through the midfield to score a doble thanks to the momentum of the Richmond forwards. Half time score was 40-10 to the mighty Richmond Bulldogs.
The second half started slow for the Richmond side. With injury (ankle) to Logan Wright some punch was taken away from the Prems Forward pack. Ill-discipline and uncharacteristic handling errors enabled the visiting opposition field position and ball possession. The stags took the opportunities when granted and scored multiple tries in the final 20 minutes of the game. Richmond composed themselves and eventually went on to win 50-28. Player of the day went to stand out performer Aaron Unasa.
After 18 games played this 2013 season the Premier 1st have won 15, loss 3 and now go to the Major semi-final against the 2013 undefeated Otara Scorpions at Ngati Otara Park. The winner of this match go straight to the 2013 Sharman Cup Premier 1st Grand Final. The team will need to train well and tweak a few things before going into this weekend game with a positive attitude. Please come on out in support of our team and club as both teams will be fighting hard to go through to the grand final. The boys would appreciate your support. BiteEMBulldogs