THE Bay of Plenty Volcanix earned a gutsy 10-all draw with Auckland at Rugby Park this afternoon.
Twice the Volcanix came from behind to level the scores against last year’s runners-up. The national women’s provincial competition has been divided into premiership and championship divisions this was the first of two crossover rounds. The Volcanix will contest the championship this season.
Rain was persistent throughout the match and after an even first period, the visitors scored first. But Opotiki’s Luka Connor, who started at loosehead prop, burrowed over from close range shortly after to earn the Bay a five-all halftime score.
The second half was much of the same as the Volcanix put pressure on a bigger Auckland forward pack. Even being reduced to 14 players did not deter the Volcanix, as they made tackle after tackle to deny the Aucklanders. But all of the home team’s hard work looked to be undone as Auckland scored with five minutes to play, finally capitalising the glut of good field position.
The Volcanix were not to be denied though as they stormed up field and after what seemed like an age in the Auckland red zone, Volcanix hooker Ereti Williams pounced on a loose ball to tie the game up. The Volcanix held on for a result they were clearly happy with. Volcanix coach Brendon Webby was rapt with the effort of his side.
“We are happy with the result, it isn’t a win but the girls put in a great performance. We have worked hard on our culture and you find out how good it is when you are on the grass.”
The Volcanix play Hawke’s Bay in Napier in round two next Saturday.