The Waitara Bears continue to hunt down the Marist Dragons in the Taranaki Rugby League premier grade competition.
The Bears trail the Dragons by just four points on the competition ladder after nine rounds and the teams are likely to meet in the final later this season.
Last Saturday, the Bears came from behind to beat the Tigers 40-24.
The Tigers raced out to a 10-0 early lead. Reduced to 12 men after Reggie Pearce was binned for a shoulder charge, Tigers stand off Casey Reihana intercepted a Bears pass to score and put the Tigers 16-14 up heading to the halftime break.
The first 25 minutes of the second half was an arm wrestle between two evenly matched sides scoring two tries a piece to lock up the scores 24-24 with 15 minutes left on the clock.
That's when the cracks started to appear in the Tigers defence and the Bears took full advantage running in three unanswered tries to win.
For the Bears, wing Bill Cope had his best game of the season and capped it with a try. Cruz Rauner impressed in the halves and played a part in several tries.
Promising youngster Mahorahora McLeod showed good skills and Henare O'Carroll and Jarrod Morfett had strong games.
Western Suburbs best players were fullback Tyson Young who defended well and the McSeveney brothers James at halfback and Wiremu in the second row.
In the other game in the round, Bell Block Marist Dragons were too strong for the Hawera Hawks winning 42-18.
WAITARA BEARS 40 (M Knuckey, Bill Cope, T Clarke, M McLeod, Brent Martin, Chance Te Uira, H O'Carroll, A Kuika tries) Chance Te Uira 4 goals) WESTERN SUBURBS TIGERS 24 (T Young, S Bennett, C Reihana, J McSeveney, W McSeveney tries); J McSeveney 2 goals).
MARIST DRAGONS 42 (T Prestney 2, T Ransfield, J Pirini, Deejay Martin, C Martin, W Basson, M Peri tries; T Prestney 5 goals) HAWERA HAWKS 18 (R Gardner, Willie Mohi, D Maraki, J Hori tries; D Hori goal)
Points: Marist 18, Waitara 14, Western Suburbs 8, Hawera 4, Coastal Cobras 0.
- Taranaki Daily News
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