Papakura Thirsty Liquor secured a crucial 43-3 win over Weymouth in the Counties Power Game of the Week in McNamara Cup action Saturday.
Having gone close to a major upset against the defending champions Bombay a week earlier, Kerry Petrie’s side collected maximum points against the competition newbies in a win that could really kick-start their season.
“As a group we came off the field on Saturday knowing further growth had occurred,” coach Petrie said.
“Our discipline was better conceding only 9 penalties throughout. We will address that - the final four were in the last seven mins of the game. Moving forward we must realise this could lead to the scoreboard factor when games are close.
“A focus leading into this game was around how collectively we would approach it mentally, when on paper we were potentially heading into a fixture for the first time as favourites. To the boys’ credit they worked hard to stay and play within the shape and systems we have been training, along with identifying what was working for us and why.
“Once this was achieved, it led to growing confidence and a belief that we can score points along with what led to those moments. Our collective focus was great. Some of the areas we didn’t quite nail the week before were executed better on Saturday. We however are still creating opportunities that aren’t being taken.
“Weymouth tested us physically, an element we had planned for. The boys were determined and at times worked hard to ensure our line was not crossed. Box ticked.
“We all walked away satisfied that we had made another step forward. The boys deservedly enjoyed and celebrated the night. We know we still have work to do if we are going to get to where we are aiming to be at season’s end. We now plan for Manurewa.”
Karaka maintained their perfect start to the season as they beat Pukekohe Mitre 10 Mega 32-13 at Colin Lawrie Fields.
A third successive bonus point win has Craig Hill’s side sitting atop the McNamara Cup standings a third of the way through the first round.
“The score wasn’t an indication of how tight the game was,” Hill said. “It was only in the last 15 minutes that we managed to get some dominance.
“After a few mistakes in the first 15 minutes we settled down and got out to a 15-3 lead into the wind.
“Pukekohe then had territory and a try and penalty closed it up to 15-13 at halftime.
It remained that way until Karaka scored through Peniasi Malimali with 15 minutes to go and then backed it up by scoring immediately upon the re-start.
“The scrum was a telling asset for us; putting Pukekohe consistently under pressure but we have a fair bit to work on leading into Ardmore Marist next week,” Hill added.
Waiuku Land & Sea Civil secured a crucial 19-15 win over neighbours Patumahoe Troydon Patumahoe Hotel to improve their record to two wins and a loss through the opening three rounds.
The match was a tight affair throughout but the home side always held the advantage and they were able to withstand a fightback.
“I’m pretty happy with the result,” coach Peter Nock said. “We worked really hard this week in making a change to ensure we could get growth from our game last weekend and the hard work paid off that’s for sure.
“We started well and even though we still made mistakes the boys could defend well when under pressure and showed some real determination and grit.
“We were up 19-8 and then let them back into the game, so we will be working on keeping the momentum going in games.
“It was bloody tough and our boys got banged up a bit so it will be interesting who fronts up to train on Tuesday ready to go.”
Manurewa Kidd Contracting edged Bombay Super Freight in a 28-27 thriller at Bombay Domain in what was a game fit for July rather than the opening weeks of the season.
A week out from celebrating their centenary, Manurewa were forced to work hard to earn their points.
“It was a tough, gritty game up on the hill,” coach Jeremy Clarke said.
“We always knew it would be and that Bombay would be up for the battle. They have a big pack so we had to work really hard to get an edge and I was happy with our efforts.
“Our scrum set the platform to play off and the backs linked well with some classy touches.
“It is good to get a win on the hill as it has been a little while.
“There is still improvement in us and that is a work-on ahead of the centenary next week against Papakura.”
Ardmore Marist South Auckland Motors continued their unbeaten start to the season as they thrashed Onewhero 77-7 at Bruce Pulman Park to retain the Counties Power Cup.
The one-sided affair ensures the home side remain second on the competition ladder, while Onewhero have just a solitary point to show for their efforts this season.
Ardmore Marist Barfoot & Thompson had to settle for an 11-11 draw with Patumahoe Dave Redshaw Electrical in the Bob Chandler Cup Premier Reserves opening round.
The visitors put in a strong showing at Bruce Pulman Park and will be happy to secure two competition points against quality opponents and at a tough place to win but also felt they missed an opportunity to win the game.
Karaka thumped Pukekohe 45-15 while Bombay Pokeno Bacon cruised to a 43-12 win over Manurewa Wise Property Management in other matches.
The Ardmore Marist women opened their season with a 17-12 win over College Rifles while Patumahoe Searle Group secured a 24-17 win over Waiheke.
Manurewa fell 30-17 to Ponsonby while Papakura went down 31-10 to North Harbour.
Counties Power Club Rugby Results 17 April 2021
McNamara Cup (Premiership):
Pukekohe Mitre 10 Mega Pukekohe 13-32 Karaka
Ardmore Marist South Auckland Motors (Counties Power Cup Holders) 77-7 Onewhero
Waiuku Land & Sea Civil 19-15 Patumahoe Troydon Patumahoe Hotel
Bombay Super Freight 27-28 Manurewa Kidd Contracting
Papakura Thirsty Liquor 43-3 Weymouth (Counties Power Game of the Week)
Sid Marshall Shield (Championship): (Pre-season)
Manurewa 24-12 Tuakau
Te Kohanga 10-7 Patumahoe Village Bar & Grill
Maramarua 36-24 Papakura
Drury 10-12 Te Kauwhata PROCLAD
Pukekohe 52-40 Puni
Bob Chandler Cup (Premier Reserves):
Pukekohe 15-45 Karaka
Ardmore Marist Barfoot & Thompson 11-11 Patumahoe Dave Redshaw Electrical
Bombay Pokeno Bacon 43-12 Manurewa Wise Property Management
Waiheke 17-24 Patumahoe Searle Group
Ponsonby 30-17 Manurewa
Papakura 10-31 North Harbour
Ardmore Marist 17-12 College Rifles
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