The Hawera Hawks gave an understrength Linton Cobras a hiding in round nine of the Western Alliance rugby league competition in Hawera on Saturday.
The Hawks triumphed 56-6 over the Cobras to give Hawera their second win of the competition and keep their playoff hopes for third alive.
The big Hawera forward pack kept running at the Cobras, finding weaknesses in defence.
The struggling Foxton Rebels upset the Waitara Bears 32-30, with the win coming in the final minute in Foxton.
Foxton had also had only one win and a draw before the latest round.
While they made hard work of the game against Waitara, they held on for the win.
The momentum kept changing but a penalty Foxton took early in the game proved to be the difference in the narrow win.
The Dannevirke Tigers defaulted their game to table-topping Bell Block Marist Dragons late on Friday because they had too many injuries.
Dannevirke could muster only about eight players for the game, with 12 regulars injured.
Linton's loss confirmed Marist and Dannevirke as the competition grand finalists.
They will meet in the final in Tikorangi on July 21.
However, the two teams will play a final qualifying round game on Saturday. Marist won their first-round encounter but Dannevirke were also low on numbers. The Tigers will be hoping to have their full team back this week.
The playoff for third on July 21 has yet to be decided, with any of the bottom three in the hunt to clinch fourth spot on the table.
POINTS: Marist Dragons 18, Dannevirke Tigers 12, Linton Cobras 8, Hawera Hawks 5, Foxton Rebels 5, Waitara Bears 4.
- Taranaki Daily News
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