Old foes in intriguing McNamara Cup Battle

Old foes in intriguing McNamara Cup Battle

Neighbours and in-form sides Pukekohe and Patumahoe will meet in this week’s Counties Energy Game of the Week with all eyes on the outcome at Colin Lawrie Fields.

Patumahoe are the only side left in the McNamara Cup that have won all of their matches but they were forced to work hard against an energised Bombay side last weekend.

With games against Pukekohe and Karaka (teams currently ranked first and third on the ladder) left to complete the first round, the next fortnight will help showcase the balance of power heading into the second round.

Pukekohe showed they were as competitive as anyone last weekend as they upset Karaka 31-26 in a terrific showing at Karaka Sports Complex.

Back home in front of their own supporters, Pukekohe will be riding a wave of belief that they can beat a Patumahoe side that has had the wood over them in recent seasons.

Coach Michael Porter believes the McNamara Cup is so close that any side can beat any other on their day.

“You have to front every week because you’ll end up on the wrong side of the scoreboard,” Porter told Counties Sports Hub.

“We talked about setting a benchmark [the win over Karaka] for the next couple of weeks because we know we have some tough games.

“We know what Patty will bring – they are similar to us - a hard working forward pack and some classy backs out wide.”

Elsewhere Ardmore Marist are back home at Bruce Pulman Park and will see their clash with Papakura as the best chance they’ve had to win a game so far this season.

Papakura will be fresh coming off the bye and scored a terrific comeback draw against the defending champions Manurewa in their last match.

Bombay hosts Manurewa up the hill in a game that could determine which side sits in the top four at the mid-way point of the season.

Manurewa flanker Blake Ashby will bring up 100 games for the club in a milestone his teammates will want to help him celebrate with a win.

The Pukekohe v Patumahoe battle in the Bob Chandler Cup Premier Reserves could also be defining – the two sides sit second and third on the table while top side Karaka has a bye this week.

Manurewa will hope to keep pace when they travel to Bombay while Papakura and Ardmore Marist will battle it out with one side set to claim their first victory of the season.

Karaka hosts Pukekohe in an epic top-of-the-table Massey Cup U21 competition game at Karaka Sports Complex.

The two sides have proven to be the cream of the crop through the opening rounds and will be primed to grab bragging rights early on.

Patumahoe hosts Manurewa in a battle between the third and fourth ranked sides while Papakura travels to Bruce Pulman Park to face Ardmore Marist.

The U85kg National Club Competition begins this week with two local sides in action.

Patumahoe hosts the Auckland University Legends at Patumahoe Domain from 1pm while the Karaka Razzlers host the Pakuranga United Black Panthers at Karaka Sports Complex from 2.45pm.