Round 7 Rapid Wrap

Photo credit: Katrina Parish

In Round 7 of the Sky Broadband Rapid League we witnessed losses for the top two teams – the NBS Nelson Giants and the Napier RSA Hawks. Despite the defeats both teams retain their top two spots on the ladder. Mike Lacey takes you through those games and everything else that you need to know in the Round 7 Rapid Wrap.

Tauranga Whai 23 Night ‘n Day Otago Nuggets 29

The Tauranga Whai and Night ‘n Day Otago Nuggets entered the contest with identical 3-4 records but it was the Nuggets that moved to .500 with a decisive 29-23 win in Tauranga on Wednesday night.

The highlights of the opening half were a one-handed reverse dunk from Whai forward Carter Hopoi, our first sighting this season of Dontae Russo-Nance and a corner three from Josh Aitcheson - the Nuggets ahead 11-6 at the interval.

Maioro Greensill pulled the Whai to withing a single point before Russo-Nance converted a pull-up off balance three on the three-quarter time buzzer to extend the visitors lead to 18-11

The Whai doubled their score in the final frame, with Hopoi (9 points) and Te Tuhi Lewis (7 points) making 3-point plays, although scores from Aitcheson and Robbie Coman – tallying 7 points apiece - ensured the Nuggets headed to Napier with the W.

BBQ’s Direct Canterbury Rams 51 Taranaki Steeelformers Airs 35

With both teams were coming off a loss in their previous outing it was the Rams that righted the ship with a 51-35 win at Cowles Stadium in Christchurch on Thursday night.

A season high 17 points from Kaia Isaac was the headline act for the Rams with the 20 year-old guard ably supported by the supporting cast of Josh Nickel (10 points), Taki Fahrensohn (8 points), Mana Martin (8 points) and Aidan Tonge (6 points and 6 rebounds).

Out of the gate Quintin Bailey (9 points) and Carlin Davison were the initial scorers  before the Rams strung together a 15-2 run either side of quarter time.

Bailey had 7 points by the interval although 6 points from Isaac and 5 from Martin helped the Rams to a 23-17 half-time advantage.

Zavier Adam made a couple of scores for the Airs however the Rams dominated proceedings in the third with Nickel and Isaac propelling the hosts to a 38-22 lead.

Nico Hill (9 points) and Tobias Cameron (9 points and 4 assists) put a temporary dent in the deficit but it was of little consequence as the Rams became the first team to pass 50-points in the Rapid League on two occasions.

Franklin Bulls 41 Southland Sharks 30

Franklin Bulls dominated the opening half before going on to beat the Southland Sharks 41-30 in Pukekohe on Friday night.

Paced by 16 points from Christian Vano the Bulls were 15-4 to the good at quarter time and almost out of sight at the interval with a 29-13 advantage.

Vano made 6 from 9 from the field, and a heady 4 from 7 (57%) from beyond the arc, as he posted a season high. Lending good support were Hari Coker-Grey (7 points) and Dru Leusogi-Ape (6 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists). Additionally Halasiale Maile provided punch off the bench with 5 points and 5 rebounds.

The Sharks enjoyed more scoring production in the second half with Brayden Inger, in his first Rapid League appearance, scoring 11 points. Ben Hall who has scored in double figures in all five of his Rapid appearances also tallied 11 points on an efficient 4 from 6 shooting.  

Napier RSA Hawks 27 Night ‘n Day Otago Nuggets 29

In front of a good Saturday afternoon crowd at Rodney Green Arena in Napier the Hawks winning streak ended at six after the Nuggets prevailed 27-29.

After Matt Bardsley (7 points) calmly sank two free-throws to give the Nuggets the two-point lead with only 3 seconds left on the clock a Jackson Ball three-point would be buzzer beater rimmed out enabling Otago to claim their second road win of the round.

Tanae Lavery top scored for the Hawks with 9 points but their usual fluent offence was stifled by the visitors and they failed to hit the 30-point mark for the first time this season.

Five points from Matt Pyper helped the Nuggets to a 9-7 lead before a neat pair of buckets from Jacob Murphy (6 points) tied proceedings. A brace of triples from Robbie Coman (8 points) and a banked version from Bardsley saw the Nuggs take a 19-15 advantage into the main break.

Defence dominated the third period, the Hawks edging the spell by a single points to set up an intriguing fourth quarter. Tommy Fergusson levelled the scores with 51 seconds to play before Bardsley earned a trip to the free-throw line – from there he made no mistake.

Auckland Tuatara 32 Property Brokers Manawatu Jets 18 

The Auckland Tuatara moved into third place on the Rapid League ladder following a solid 32-18 victory over the Manawatu Jets at Eventfinda Stadium on Saturday night.

In his second game back for the Tuatara Charlie Dalton led all scorers with 11 points to go with 5 rebounds while Tukaha Cooper, on a perfect 3 from 3 from the field and 2 out of 2 from the charity stripe scored 8 points while Nick Barrow totalled 6.

For the Jets forward Hikaia Lambert scored 6 points while New Zealand U16 representative Lachie Crate (4 points) became the first player to accumulate 80 Rapid League points.

Barrow scored all his points in the opening half, which was won 14-6 by the Tuatara. Three points each from Crate and Lambert helped the Jets edge the third period 9-6 but any hopes of a Jets reducing the deficit further were laid to rest as the hosts put on a dozen points in the final stanza – threes from Reuben Fitzgerald and Will Leger topping off the win.

Taranaki Steeelformers Airs 42 Southland Sharks 33

With teenage guard Dane Bertinshaw, in just his third Rapid appearance, scoring 13 points the Taranaki Airs proved too strong for the Southland Sharks with a 42-33 win.

The Airs made their intentions clear from the tip as Quintin Bailey ran the floor for a two handed flush. Opposing centre Connor Coll (6 points and 6 rebounds) replied for the Sharks although they found themselves 11-6 behind after the initial period.

Quake Webster and Ben Hall drained threes for the Sharks but Bertinshaw’s ten first half points propelled Taranaki to a 26-14 lead.

Hall (15 points) moved into double figures for a sixth straight game – the Airs deficit 9 points at the three-quarter mark (33-24).

Nico Hill, the Rapid League’s leading scorer, also logged double digits with 11 points as the Airs bounced back from their defeat at the hands of the Rams earlier in the round. For the Sharks it was an eighth straight defeat ahead of a home encounter with the Tuatara next weekend.

Mills Albert Wellington Saints 33 NBS Nelson Giants 31

Top of the table Nelson Giants visited the Wellington Saints on Sunday and were defeated for just the second time this season. After Sam Dempster had levelled proceedings inside the last 30 seconds it was Taane Samuel, the game’s leading scorer with 16 points, that clinched a 33-31 win for the Saints as he converted a driving layup with just a second to play.

Earlier it was Samuel that opened and closed the first quarter scoring as the Saints opened up an 11-4 lead.

The Giants hit back with a pair of baskets apiece from Nick Davidson (7 points) and Aston Inwood (6 points) before Tom Ingham sunk a corner three to give the visitors a 16-14 half-time lead.

Dempster sunk a triple on the resumption before Samuel and Arthur Pilcher struck from deep to take the Saints out to a 24-21 lead with a quarter to play.

From there it was nip and tuck all the before Samuel had the final say.

Rapid Express

The Rams became the first team to pass 50-points in the Rapid League on two occasions with the 51-35 defeat of the Taranaki Airs.

The 17-point hauls from the guard duo of Kaia Isaac (Canterbury Rams) and Christian Vano (Franklin Bulls) were the joint highest individual scores of Round 7.

Rapid Fire

Taranaki Airs guard Nico Hill has leapt to the head of the list of overall points scorer this season. Playing two games in Round 7 Hill posted 9 points against the Rams and 11 in the win over the Sharks. Twelve players have scored over 60 points over the first seven rounds of the inaugural Rapid League – full list below.

Top  scorers (60pts+):

89 Nico Hill (Airs)

80 Lachie Crate (Jets)

79 Tommy Fergusson (Hawks)

77 Connor Coll (Sharks)

77 Ben Hall (Sharks)

74 Te Tuhi Lewis (Whai)

71 Hayden Jones (Giants)

67 Josh Aitcheson (Nuggets)

66 Dru Leusogi-Ape (Bulls)

63 Kobe Kara (Hawks)

63 Kaia Isaac (Rams)

62 Tyson Thata (Saints)

Top 12 MVP vote gatherers after Round 7:

63 Tommy Fergusson (Hawks)

47 Josh Aitchison (Nuggets)

46 Ben Hall (Sharks)

44 Hayden Jones (Giants)

41 Kaia Isaac (Rams)

41 Kazlo Evans Jr (Saints)

41 Connor Coll (Sharks)

37 Te Tuhi Lewis (Whai)

37 Robbie Coman (Nuggets)

36 Matt Bardsley (Nuggets)

36 Lachie Crate (Jets)

Sky Broadband Rapid League Standings after Round 7

7-2 Nelson Giants

6-2 Hawkes Bay Hawks

6-4 Auckland Tuatara

5-3 Canterbury Rams, Wellington Saints

5-4 Otago Nuggets, Taranaki Airs

4-4 Franklin Bulls

3-5 Tauranga Whai

2-8 Southland Sharks

0-9 Manawatu Jets



Form is temporarily not available. Please visit our contact page.