The visitors wasted no time in capitalising off early field advantage six minutes after kick off, when Five...-eighth and Premier season debutante Josh Mana fed a short pass to second Rower Toafofoa Sipley who forced his way over the line despite the efforts of several Barracuda defenders. Josh Mana successfully converted the try.
Despite new combinations forming this week, coach Ming Mafoe was pleased with the performance of all of his players. Josh Mana and Savi Hafoka took full control of the halves, their fellow Premier season debutantes Fia Isaia & Logan Wright also contributed by laying a solid platform for the forward momentum to continue throughout the entire game.
Half time welcomed the next try, when Richmond’s vice captain, Joe Alesi charged across the line after a high ball was gathered 15 metres out from the try line, Josh Mana added the goal.
Richmond Premiers produced a stirring defensive play, even captain Karl Simeti's flu could not keep him at bay leading the tackle count with 34, despite resting a third of the game. While both teams were solid defensively, Richmond dominated the battle. Second Rowers, Siliga Kepaoa and Toafofoa Sipley and veteran Vae Kalolo constantly put their hand up leading the way up the middle and out wide. Off the bench, Ben Seve demonstrated his enthusiasm and impact while covering for his captain at loosie with barn-storming plays.
Spectator and Richmond’s chairman, Gus Fepuleai was ecstatic, “Our defence was outstanding in the wet weather, you are only as good as your defence and it scared the life out of them” (Barracudas).
Not even the storm-like conditions could phase fullback Meke Unasa's stellar performance under the high ball. Never too far away in support and of the same stellar form were the wingers Mafola Timaloa & Edwin Pita.
The home team scored a consolation try two minutes from full time, final score 12-4 to Richmond.
Coach Ming Mafoe credits the entire team for the win. “Our focus this week was on our attacking part of our game plan. Taking into consideration the weather, players should be proud of themselves. Each player from 1-17 had a role to do, they stuck to their team plan and outperformed themselves”, he said.
Mafoe also acknowledged the supporters who tirelessly continue to back their boys in the blue and maroon week on week, rain or shine.
Player of the day: Vae Kalolo
Next game: Manurewa Marlins, Grey Lynn Park. 2.30pm