Strong defence spurred Te Aroha to a 26-14 victory over Wainuiomata in the latest round of premier Wellington rugby league.
Slippery conditions at Wise Park ensured a tight clash and Wainuiomata were pressing hard in the final quarter when only trailing 20-14.
However, Te Aroha's defence did not budge and the visitors sealed the win with 10 minutes remaining when their energetic scrum-half Tautoko Ratu slipped through three attempted tacklers.
Te Aroha fullback Anthony Utanga had an outstanding game, capped with a brace of tries.
Te Aroha's victory paves the way for a clash of the unbeaten sides on Saturday, when they play Randwick at Te Whiti Park.
At Whakatiki Street, Upper Hutt picked up their first win of the season, scoring eight tries to two in outplaying St George 44-8.
Upper Hutt prop B J Bampton, second-rower Iona Keni and loose forward Jordan Smith all had strong defensive games, which resulted in the home side picking up a big share of turnovers.
In the other two premier games, Randwick stayed on top of the premier table with a 56-12 win over the Porirua Vikings at Naenae Park. Home advantage also suited University, who were too good for bottom-placed Petone, winning at Kelburn Park.
- The Dominion Post
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