Highlight in win over Wests comes in 78th minute

The highlights (see video clip below) of the premiers' 24-19 win over Wests on 12 May came at the very start when hooker Liu Taituave led the team onto the field to mark his 50th premier appearance, and at the very end when halfback Peter Sciascia pounced on a Wests goal-line error to score the winning try.

In between, MSP made a host of mistakes against a team who are always difficult to play on their home turf of Ian Galloway Park, particularly on their Old Timers' Day.

MSP had a strong first 10 minutes but wasted several scoring opportunities. Stand-out flanker Sio Tuia burst over for the first try after 20 minutes but five minutes later some woeful midfield tackling let Wests in under the posts.

MSP often worked their way deep into Wests territory and it was Sio in again right on halftime from a succession of forward drives. However, it was Wests with their noses in front at the break, 13-12, on the back of a steady stream of penalties and a better kicking game.

More penalties stretched their lead to 19-12, and it took the energy of veteran Kas Lealamanua to close it up. Coming on as a replacement, he was driven over the line after a burst by winger Paul Tuia. Andrew Wells, who took over the kicking duties in the absence of Fa'atonu Fili, made it 19-19 with the conversion.

MSP was again having the better of the half but constant mistakes frustrated all the hard work. With just over five minutes to play, MSP twice turned down kickable penalties to take scrums on Wests five-metre line. When possession was turned over after the second, it looked like the opportunity for a bonus-point win had been lost. But a powerful MSP shove disrupted the Wests put-in, and halfback Peter Sciascia, back at MSP after two years playing in Northern Ireland, celebrated by darting around to force the ball for the winning try.

MSP will take the four-tries-to one victory but after a top performance over Ories last week, the team will be disappointed with an sub-par effort.


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