BY PETER ZOLEVEKE II
The question of ‘Who will Man Up?’ this year is still open in a 3-horse race contention following round 4 of competing over the weekend in the 2021 Solrais & Fletchers Man Up Rugby 15s Challenge.
Islanders, Henderson Hammerheads and Malaita Crusaders secured the top seats of the tournament in a tight point battle.
Islanders clinched their fourth successive win with a 47 -23 bonus win over a determined SOSA young outfit to maintain their undefeated run, though head coach Paulo Tikotikoca said their performance is below par.
“The boys did well to get the win and maintain our position on the standings and secure it for now, but our game today (Saturday) if any other team we shouldn’t have got the result. How the boys perform is not to the standard I expected and we need to step up from here,” Tikotikoca said in a post-match interview.
“We need to move more swiftly in our positioning and that’s what we are going to work on our next game.
Islander leads with 16 points and a final round fixture against Diesel next weekend.
Newcomers Malaita Crusaders are also off to a remarkable campaign after collecting their third win for vital points over MOI Warriors 37-12 to maintain on third spot.
“Credit to the boys despite the short time together as a team we achieved these,” Crusaders head coach Norman Hatigeva said.
Host side HHH hand an improving Diesel side 43-10 and grab bonus points sitting second on the tally with 15 points a point behind the leaders.
“Definitely I’m happy with the win obviously it gets up us in the second spot and despite losing our initial game in the competition we are rebuilding,” HHH head coach Philip Campbell said.
The Sharks will face a rather tough challenge when they take on contenders Crusaders in a runner-up deciding clash.
A second spot finish for the Sharks will see a possible rematch against Islanders for the 1st and 2nd playoff in a week’s time.