VIPERS’ LATE SURGE BRINGS CANTERBURY WOMEN UNDONE
The Canterbury women’s team went down to Mid Central Vipers 26-18 in Round 2 of the NZRL National Women’s Premiership at Ngā Puna Wai.
Canterbury twice fought back from behind to lead at halftime. But the Vipers scored three tries in the last 12 minutes to snatch a six-tries-to-four victory.
Mid Central scored early via a dummy-half snipe. Vipers fullback Jashana Tetue-Teuawiri made a scorching break soon afterwards but was cut down by opposite number Michelle Wong.
Canterbury squared up the scoreboard courtesy of a brilliant kick-and-chase effort from five-eighth Alisha Fonmoa in the 10th minute.
Tetue-Teuawiri’s speed and elusiveness proved too much for the hosts’ defence a few minutes later, however, slipping out of a tackle and reaching out for an 8-4 Vipers lead.
Mistakes thwarted Canterbury’s attempts to build momentum and Mid Central capitalised to post its third try, lock Treyana Faulkner bursting through on the right edge.
Fonmoa’s pace and footwork cut the deficit to 12-10, cutting through several Vipers defenders to dive over for her second try.
Canterbury hit the front for the first time five minutes out from halftime as hooker and co-captain Fleur Barker hoodwinked the Mid Central goal-line defence to score from dummy-half. The home side went to the sheds 14-12 ahead.
After passing a strenuous goal-line test early in the second half with flying colours, Canterbury inched out to a six-point lead when second-rower Angela Petero stormed over from close range.
But the Vipers snapped their lengthy try drought – and levelled the scores – with 11 minutes to, Soloi Ruby Finau stepping through to dot down under the posts. The Vipers’ other centre, Loa Limarota crossed out wide four minutes to reclaim the lead for the visitors.
Mid Central hooker Paris Paul sealed the result with two minutes to go, slipping through Canterbury’s goal-line net from dummy-half.
NZRL NATIONAL WOMEN’S PREMIERSHIP – ROUND 2
Mid Central Vipers 26 defeated Canterbury 18 (Alisha Fonmoa 2, Fleur Barker, Angela Petero tries; Angela Petero goal) at Ngā Puna Wai