New Zealand universities overwhelm Scorpions

Universities in New Zealand gave South Zone Scorpions a lesson at the North Ground yesterday.

The visiting team clinched a 38-18 victory in the single game.

The match was still balanced, 18-12, at halftime, but the students had dominated the territory and that pressure took its toll in the second half.

Universities coach Ray Fitiao said he had experienced campaigners who were playing at a good level in rugby league “although they are quite young”.

“We had a really good training session. [on Saturday] and we made sure we knew what we wanted to do in certain parts of the pitch, and the energy the young guys played with at the start of the game was just huge,” Fitiao said.

“I think they only got into our 20s twice in that first half and they scored both chances.

“But in the second half we were just committed to finishing well and being as accurate as possible.”

Hooker and captain Tom Va’afusuaga led the way with diligent effort.

He made several telling breaks in the middle to set up a few tries, while center Rahiri Witehira was dangerous when he carried and scored a crack try.

For the home side, prop Mika Mafi played all 80 minutes and scored twice, while winger Desmon Dillon threatened on the outside. He is a lot of man and takes a lot of tackles.

Hooker Troy Anstiss has also improved his reputation.