Rapid Wrap – Round 8

Photo credit: Danielle Creative

In Round 8 of the Sky Broadband Rapid League we witnessed the fourth 50-point performance of the season as Auckland Tuatara defeated the Sharks in Southland. Meanwhile the NBS Nelson Giants solidified their place at the top of the standings with a home victory against the Tauranga Whai. Mike Lacey takes you across the above and everything else that you need to know in this weeks Rapid Wrap.

Napier RSA Hawks 39 Franklin Bulls 36

The Napier RSA Hawks fought back from a double figure second quarter deficit to defeat the Franklin Bulls 39-36 at Rodney Green Arena on Wednesday night.

The opening quarter went the way of the Bulls (9-6) with the hyphenated duo of Dru Leusogi-Ape (14 points) and Harri Coker-Grey prominent.

Next to catch the eye were Jacob Murphy (9 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists) and Christian Vano. Murphy scored 5 points for the Hawks while Vano dropped three triples for the Bulls as they took a 21-14 advantage into the half-time break.

The Hawks had the better of the third outscoring the Bulls 12-4 to lead by a point with a quarter to play.

In an exciting fourth stanza Leusogi-Ape rattled in 9 points for the visitors but an 8-point salvo from Tommy Fergusson (14 points) and a brace of scores from Tanae Lavery enabled the Hawks to record win number seven and join the Nelson Giants at the top of the Rapid League ladder.

The only sour note for the Hawks were the serious looking leg injuries incurred by Fergusson and Balin Casson. We wish the players well as we await medical assessments.

Night ‘n Day Otago Nuggets 27 Auckland Tuatara 25

Also coming back from double digit arrears were Night ‘n Day Otago Nuggets as they defeated the Auckland Tuatara 27-25 at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin on Thursday night making it three wins on the bounce.

The result looked improbable early on as the Tuatara were an almost perfect 7 from 8 in the opening period in forging a 14-4 lead.

Then a Robbie Coman three completed a 7-point run by the Nuggets which was countered by 6 straight from the Tuatara – Fitzgerald and Dalton with six points each leading the visitors to a healthy 20-11 half-time lead.

Darcy Knox knocked down a triple to open the second half scoring and from there the Nuggets took complete control. They stifled the Tuatara offence restricting them to just 5 second half points while at the offensive end Robbie Coman led the way with a season high 14 points.

Bearing testimony to the Nuggets defensive resolve is the fact that in their six wins they have kept their opponents to under 30-points on each occasion.

BBQ’s Direct Canterbury Rams 38 Tauranga Whai 41

The Tauranga Whai secured an important road win at Cowles Stadium in Christchurch on Friday night when they edged BBQ’s Direct Canterbury Rams 41-38.

The game was decided in an exciting fourth period with the Whai 27-25 ahead at that point.

From there Mana Martin briefly gave the Rams the lead before the scores were tied on three occasions in the closing three minutes. Tama Isaac levelled the scores at 35 each and brother Kaia at 38’s but either side of that it was Xanda Marsters who was the hero for the Whai.

The Rotorua Boys high guard made two triples inside the final 40 seconds of the contest - the second with just 2 seconds to play the dagger that secured the win.

Marsters finished with a season high 11 points, while Te Tuhi Lewis scored 9, Jayden Boucher 8 and Carter Hopoi 6 points.

For the Rams Mana Martin and Tama Isaac tallied 9 each while Kaia Isaac and Aidan Tonge, who also secured 6 rebounds, scored 8 apiece.

Southland Sharks 32 Auckland Tuatara 50

After losing the first game of the ‘Southern Swing’ in Dunedin 48 hours earlier the Tuatara bounced back with a comfortable 50-32 victory over the Southland Sharks at the ITL Stadium Southland in Invercargill on Saturday afternoon.

Charlie Dalton, Chris McIntosh and Rueben Fitzgerald were all in double figures as the Tuatara shot 50% from behind the arc and 90% (12/13) from the foul line.

Dalton scored 6 of his season high 14 points in the opening quarter as the Tuatara moved to a 14-8 lead.

Fitzgerald (10 points) gave the Tuatara a double figure advantage before Ben Hall and Quake Webster (10 points) pulled the Sharks to within 7 points (24-17) at the main break.

An And-1 play from McIntosh (11 points) reinstated the Tuatara’s double digit advantage – the visitors 38-25 in front with a period to play.

Triples from Connor Coll (11 points) and Andrew Wheeler were only consolation points as Will Leger brought up the 50-point mark for the Tuatara.

Taranaki Steeelformers Airs 44 Property Brokers Manawatu Jets 30

The Taranaki Steelformers Airs were too good for the winless Property Brokers Manawatu Jets in New Plymouth on Saturday evening winning 44-30.

The Airs were led by Derone Raukawa (12 points) and Geordie Hoeata (10 pints) while the 9 points from Nico Hill leaves him just two points short of becoming the first player to 100 Rapid League points this season.

The Jets were deprived of the services of their leading scorer Lachie Crate after the Fielding High School student was elevated to a starter spot in the NBL game.

Campbell Scott with 8 points, and Hikaia Lambert with 6 filled the breach to an extent but the overall firepower of the more experienced Airs outfit was too much to handle and most evident in the first quarter when the hosts piled on 22 points to lead by 15.

Raukawa drained three triples in that spell as the Airs laid the groundwork for a decisive sixth victory.

Franklin Bulls 34 Mills Albert Wellington Saints 40

Mills Albert Wellington Saints ran out 40-34 winners against the Franklin Bulls at the Franklin Pool & Leisure Centre on Sunday afternoon.

With the game having the early start time of midday Dru-Leo Leusogi-Ape - headed for a game high 16 points - caught the Saints defence napping with driving layups and pull-up jumpers as the Bulls forged a 14-9 lead.

With a 5-point contribution from Taane Samuel the Saints would close the first half with a 9-0 run to grab a 20-17 lead.

Aerial acrobatics from Troy Plumtree and Leusogi-Ape were a highlight of the third period as were 7 points from Dom Kelman-Poto as the difference remained at three points (31-28) in favour of the Saints at the three-quarter mark.

Leusogo-Ape continued on with his scoring ways in the fourth but Samuel and Plumtree also moved into double figures as the Saints chalked up win number six. Samuel finished with 10 points while Plumtree, headed to the U17 World Champs with the NZ team later in the year, scored a season high 13 points.

NBS Nelson Giants 42 Tauranga Whai 27

The NBS Nelson Giants maintained their place at the top of the Rapid League ladder with a

42-27 victory against the Tauranga Whai at the Trafalgar Centre on Sunday evening.

Averaging 40 points per game the Giants were on track to better that when clocking up 13 in the opening quarter to establish a nine point lead – Nick Davidson (9 points) with half a dozen.

Tracking towards a season high 10 points Carter Hopio produced a couple of dunks – a two handed flush and a one handed effort - in an improved showing from the Whai as they reduced the deficit to 5 points (19-14) at half-time.

Sam Dempster, headed for a game high 12 points, scored 8 of them in the third as the Giants dominated the spell to carry a commanding 32-17 lead into the final frame.

Tom Ingham brought up the customary 40 points for the league leaders late in fourth.

Rapid Express

The Tuatara became the third team to enjoy a 50-point outing in Rapid League after downing Southland Sharks 50-32 in Invercargill. The Rams (twice) and the Giants are the other half century makers.

Rapid Fire

16 points from Dru Leusogi-Ape, in the Bulls loss to the Saints, was the top individual scorer of the round.

Race to 100 points

Taranaki Airs guard Nico Hill remains at the head of the list of overall points scorer this season. However Dru Leusogi-Ape, after that 16 points outing for the Bulls against the Saints, is just two points behind in the race for 100 points. Tommy Fergusson, the top MVP points gatherer is third on the points scoring list.

Top scorers (70pts+) after Round 8:

98 Nico Hill (Airs)

96 Dru Leusogi-Ape (Bulls)

93 Tommy Fergusson (Hawks)

88 Connor Coll (Sharks)

87 Te Tuhi Lewis (Whai)

83 Ben Hall (Sharks)

80 Lachie Crate (Jets)

75 Hayden Jones (Giants)

71 Kaia Isaac (Rams)

70 Kobe Kara (Hawks)

Top MVP vote gatherers after Round 8:

63 Tommy Fergusson (Hawks)

49 Kazlo Evans Jr (Saints)

48 Connor Coll (Sharks)

47 Robbie Coman (Nuggets)

47 Josh Aitchison (Nuggets)

46 Ben Hall (Sharks)

44 Hayden Jones (Giants)

43 Te Tuhi Lewis (Whai)

42 Kaia Isaac (Rams)

41 Matt Bardsley (Nuggets)

41 Reuben Fitzgerald (Tuatara)

Sky Broadband Rapid League Standings after Round 8

8-2 Nelson Giants

7-2 Hawkes Bay Hawks

7-5 Auckland Tuatara

6-3 Wellington Saints

6-4 Otago Nuggets, Taranaki Airs

5-4 Canterbury Rams

4-6 Franklin Bulls, Tauranga Whai

2-9 Southland Sharks

0-10 Manawatu Jets



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