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On Saturday 5th April Richmond Premiers played the Northcote Tigers in the first round of the 2014 Fox Memorial Shield competition. The weather was perfect, the fields were in pristine condition and no doubt everyone was eagerly excited to get the Round 1 game under way. Richmond captain Karl Simeti was a late exclusion with the birth of his second child allowing utility player `Harry Vete to be named on the interchange bench.
Richmond however did not start the match off on a good note with a ball going to ground from kick off. Richmond showed glimpses of skill and courage throughout the first half but threw away valuable ball possession and field position with rookie like penalties. Late in the first half starting hooker Damon Niko was put in the sin bin for a professional foul and stand in captain Siliga Kepaoa joined him shortly after (ill-discipline). Richmond went in to the half time break with having had two players in the sin bin and behind on the score board 18 -10.
The second half showed the visiting Tigers were more committed to tackles with attack in numbers and appeared to be more determined to grind out a win against the home team. Northcote scored a number of long range tries which put them in the winners circle for week one, 48-16. Opposition hooker Sam Cook scored three tries on the back of a good Tigers forward platform.
Coach Ming Mafoe will want to look at areas that are of concern including the ruck area and defence line speed if there are going to be improvements moving forward.
This Saturday the Richmond Premiers play Mangere East Hawks at Walter Massey Park at 2.30pm. The team would appreciate your support as they travel away for a much needed win to begin their 2014 Fox Memorial Shield Competition campaign. Bite Em Bulldogs
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