League: University, Kia Toa rack up huge wins

University and the Kia Toa Tigers were the big winners of this week's round, notching up very convincing victories at the Oval on Saturday.

The Tigers were up against the East Coast Eagles, both sides heading into the contest following well-deserved wins last weekend.

The Tigers came out on top with a dominant 70-6 victory.

They set the tone for the match early, scoring four unanswered tries before a runaway intercept try from the Eagles put them on the scoreboard.

The Eagles had very little possession and, unfortunately, made errors frequently when they did have the ball in hand.

The side had poor ball security in the tackle, and handling errors when receiving passes.

The Tigers pounced on any opportunity on attack and ran in 13 tries in the one-sided affair.

Vila Apuula was yet again a key factor in the Tigers' attack, putting his players into space and directing the run of play from the halves.

The Kia Toa forward pack gave its backline the opportunity to shine, making impressive metres through the middle of the ground.

Koben Katipa and Ian Blake were key to that momentum, both continuing to dent the opposition line with ball in hand.

Joel Taniora's four tries were testament to his efforts on attack, relentlessly pressuring the Eagles near the line.

The Eagles' job was made tougher by having no bench to call upon, after players pulled out late.

University had an impressive 56-10 triumph over the South Pacific Raiders.

Again the tone was set early, when the Varsity side scored in the opening minutes of the game, after some great attacking pressure pinned the Raiders to their try line.

The Raiders struck back shortly after though, as a result of a soft offside penalty awarding the Raiders successive sets in the opposition half.

University then bounced back, scoring two more tries but it kept giving away soft penalties.

In combination with an impressive individual performance up front from Raiders captain Sam Brame, the halftime score was close, University up 22-10.

The second half was a different story, as University ran away with the game.

Brooklyn Newa and Jalan Wallace were instrumental in the backs, consistently busting through the defensive line, while new recruit Casper Harvey impressed on the wing, scoring two tries through sheer pace.

Equally impressive in the forwards were John Stringer and Tyson Ball, who tucked the ball under their arms and carried Raiders players with them on their search for yards up the middle.

Brame had a huge impact both on attack and on defence and was well supported by the versatile Steven Campbell-Paniona.

Honehau Clarke-Hepi also stayed strong for the entire game, in just his second game for the Raiders.

- Ricki Allan 

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