Police cop it as Valley romp home in style
VALLEY ran in 10 tries as they began the chase for their third major title this season with an entertaining 58-20 victory over Police in Premiership action yesterday.
For 40 minutes, Police lived in a dream world as they held Valley on a tight leash to lead 13-12 at half-time. But dreams of a Police victory were a mirage.
Valley were just biding their time, waiting to explode into action.
And there is no better person to make a mockery of burning hope than Valley captain Isi Tu'ivai. His first two touches of the ball ended in the Tongan torpedo knocking the ball forward. That was just a teaser for Police supporters.
For the rest of the match, Tu'ivai was a player possessed with deft handling, pinpoint passing and arrogant running.
Pushed to the right wing because of the glut of talent in the Valley backline, Tu'ivai was, however, right in the centre of action, criss-crossing the midfield and coming into the line from all angles as his side began to run the ball at every opportunity after the break.
Tu'ivai was on hand to clinically finish off two tries - the first initiated by full-back Vaughan Going, counter-attacking from a failed clearance, and the second coming off a blindside move - as Valley went into the lead for the first time in the match early in the second half. They never looked back.
Giles Scott and Neil Alton towered for Valley in the lineout. With Police failing to mix up their throws or numbers, Valley dominated the lineout which saw the backs enjoying good, clean possession. And the tactics of spinning it wide off the second and third phases, paid huge dividends.
Fly-half Robin Bredbury ran his backline with consummate skill. With centre Rodney McIntosh back to his best and showing all his elegant handling skills, Valley turned on the style, running in eight tries after the break in an awesome show of running rugby.
Tu'ivai's brace apart, the other Valley tries came courtesy of McIntosh, Going (2), Paul Welham, Miguel Rocha, Didier Cazaudumec, and Tom Hall with Stuart Krohn capping it all off. Murray John and Jim Walker scored Police's try either side of the break.
The sight of Police flanker John Dingley fighting a lone battle, taking on Valley's backrow single-handedly would have thrilled no Police fan.
Only national coach George Simpkin was happy afterwards with the courageous game of the South African looseforward as it bodes well for the South Korean tour early next month.
But Dingley's passion was in vain. Police had no chance of laying down their law.
Valley's victory was entertaining, if not a savage display of power rugby. It should leave little joy for their remaining three opponents in the Premiership - Aberdeen, Kowloon and Football Club.
In the other First Division game, Aberdeen defeated Kowloon 40-26 after leading 26-7 at the break. Despite a hat-trick of tries by Moape Ravvuv, Kowloon were unable to stop Aberdeen's onslaught which was led by backrowers Duane Davis and Mike Rarere.
Oliver Roper, Richard Cook, Justin Mansfield, Warren Warner and Gordon Ross scored tries for Aberdeen with Alistair Broach putting over three conversions and three penalties.