Character-filled win over Norths at Porirua

MSP scored their first victory at Porirua Park since 2008 with a 35-27 result on 21 April which, as the video clip below shows, produced sparkling tries as good as you'll see in rugby anywhere.

Winning at Norths home ground is particularly tough early in the season, but the premiers showed huge character in rallying from a 27-13 deficit 10 minutes into the second half to post four excellent tries, the last by JP Tocker right on full-time denying Norths a second bonus point.

MSP dominated the set pieces in the first half and also controlled possession and territory, yet the halftime score read 13-13. The dangerous Norths side had struck with two long-range tries to one MSP effort that showcased the skills of first-five Fa'atonu Fili and second-five Aviata Silago and the finishing of fullback Andrew Wells.

Ten minutes into the second half, Norths had rattled on two more tries and with 27-13 scoreline, it seemed the MSP drought at Porirua would continue. Instead, a brilliant counter-attacking break by Wells led to a try by Silago, sparking the MSP revival.

Hooker Liu Taituave back from injury was the next on the scoreboard and big no 6 Lua Lokotui, who played for Tonga in their epic win over France in last year's Rugby World Cup, also snaffled a five-pointer to nose MSP in front 28-27. JP Tocker's effort against a tiring home team was the icing on the cake for a team that hadn't beaten Norths since the 2009 Jubilee Cup final.

No 7 Sio Tuia was selected from a number of outstanding performances as MSP's player of the day.


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