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Auckland Pride retain National title

Auckland's domination of the first half of the 2011 National Competition Premiership final yesterday led them to a comfortable win over the South Island Scorpions.
Auckland Pride retain National title
by NRL

Auckland's domination of the first half of the 2011 National Competition Premiership final yesterday led them to a comfortable win over the South Island Scorpions. Both teams had travelled to Massey Park, Papakura to play in near perfect conditions for finals footy, in order to compete for the Albert Baskerville Trophy.

A strong starting performance from the Auckland forwards immediately put the Southerners under immense pressure and shortly after kick off Auckland fullback Philip Pese crossed to score his first of three tries in the game.

Prop Suaia Matagi, who was later named Man of the Match, and Manu Ma'u were true forces to be reckoned with creating a number of key line breaks for the Auckland team and when the two sides retreated to the half time break, the Aucklander's led 20 ? 10.

After returning from the break, the combination of losing a player to injury and a rapidly rising penalty count against the Aucklanders appeared to temporarily upset their strong hold on the game. The Scorpions struck back to score and when one of the Scorpion's broke through the defensive line to sprint 70 metres and set up his team mate for another try the Southerners looked well and truly back in the game.

However, with only seconds to spare, a spill of the ball by the South Island number 8 saw the Auckland team capitalise sending pivotal player Ma'u across the line to seal them the win and the National title for the second year in a row.

11 of the players from today's game were named post match to represent New Zealand in the 2011 Residents team set to take on the NZ Maori Residents at Mt Smart Stadium No.2 on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

Full time score: Auckland Pride 44 - South Island Scorpion's 34.

Match Officials: Shane Rehm, Aaron Kesha and Anthony Eliott (Auckland).

October 18, 2011 - Massey Park, Papakura

NZ Resident 16s v Queensland Academy
Kick off 1pm

October 30, 2011- Mt Smart No. 2, Auckland
Nathan Cayless Cup Final (15s)
Auckland Pride v Counties Manukau Stingrays
Kick off 12.10pm

Mark Graham Cup Final (17s)
Counties Manukau Stingrays v Auckland Pride
Kick off 1.45pm

NZ Residents Premiers v NZ Maori Residents
Kick off 3.30pm




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