A fascinating final week of the first round has confirmed the top five teams that will compete for the McNamara Cup with Karaka going through as top qualifiers.
Pukekohe Mitre 10 Mega were the final team to confirm their place in the top five after rivals Waiuku Land & Sea Civil could only muster a draw with Bombay Super Freight.
Karaka claimed an impressive 41-36 win over Patumahoe Troydon Patumahoe Hotel at Patumahoe Domain to finish the first round with just one loss and 39 competition points.
Craig Hill’s side started the match strongly – racing out to a big early lead on the back of three first quarter tries and a dominant scrum.
But Patumahoe fought back and the game was close through the early stages of the second half before the visitors skipped clear again.
But Jonny Wilkinson’s injection from the bench sparked another Patumahoe comeback that earned his side a pair of bonus points.
“We started off pretty well and the scrum was a big factor for us in that first half,” Hill said. “Our line-out was pretty accurate. They guys were patient and took their opportunities.
“It just shows the momentum swing in a game and Patumahoe just kept coming at us in the end and hats off to them for that.
“It was good rugby.”
Pukekohe Mitre 10 Mega grabbed an early lead against old foes Manurewa Kidd Contracting at Mountfort Park and held onto it for the majority of the match.
But a final quarter push saw the home side sneak home and leave Pukekohe sweating on the result from Bombay.
Manurewa retained the Counties Power Cup as a result.
“Was a tough game this one,” Manurewa coach Jeremy Clarke said. “Pukekohe came like we expected and they threw everything at us for 80 minutes.
“We absorbed everything and found some toughness to score in the 82nd minute to win the game.
“It wasn’t the best performance but winning ugly and getting five points to carry over to the championship round is vital moving forward.
“We are looking forward to this next round where every game will be tough.”
Waiuku needed to beat Bombay to have any chance of progressing to the Cup second round and they fell behind early.
But the match was always in the balance and ended up finishing with a 26-26 draw, that saw Peter Nock’s side draw level with Pukekohe on 24 competition points but miss out based on the head-to-head result between the two sides.
“It was a tough result,” Waiuku coach Peter Nock said.
“We got ahead near the end but they came back straight way from the kick-off and out-scrummed us.
“We had some last-minute stuff when we had a penalty and line-out drive stopped just short. Tom Smith attempted a dropped goal and hit the post with the ball going dead and referee Nigel calling full-time.
“It was just one of those games where we had our chances with a tricky wind but mistakes cost us at the end.
“We can’t dwell on this now – its onwards and upwards.
“Well done to Pukekohe for going well enough against Manurewa, nearly beating them and going into the top five.”
Ardmore Marist South Auckland Motors joined Karaka on 39 competition points with a 64-5 win over Papakura Thirsty Liquor at Massey Park.
The visitors raced out of the blocks and racked up 52 unanswered points by halftime.
But Papakura showed some ticker by pushing the 2018 champions hard in the second spell despite the game being out of reach.
Onewhero Summit Homes, who defaulted last week due to lack of numbers on the back of a wedding and a stack of injuries, had to work hard to get past a spirited Weymouth side 47-7 at Laurie Gibbons Reserve.
There was little between the two sides for most of the first half but Onewhero pulled away as the game wore on.
“The Onewhero community have responded amazingly to our struggling moment,” coach Paolo Bernardi said.
“The clubs is strong and the boys come first in their mind.
“Peter Langsford, a very well-known coach in Onewhero, joined the coaching team. His help has been noticed this week against Weymouth.
“The boys played from the first minute and concentration never lapsed.
“Weymouth played a good game on their home ground. We knew they were going to put all their energy into this game and we wanted to bring our best against this heartened team.”
The draw for the second round will be completed later on Monday but Karaka, Ardmore Marist, Manurewa, Patumahoe and Pukekohe will battle out a five-week second round in the McNamara Cup Premiership competition while Waiuku, Bombay, Papakura, Onewhero and Weymouth will contest the Plate competition.
Drury and Te Kauwhata Proclad maintained their unbeaten start to the Sid Marshall Shield Championship competition.
Drury proved too strong for Patumahoe Village Bar & Grill, grabbing a 24-10 win at Patumahoe Domain, while Te Kauwhata beat Pukekohe 31-0.
Maramarua kept in touch with the top four and had to fight back to beat a spirited Tuakau 19-18 at Tuakau.
Puni edged Papakura Thirsty Liquor 35-34 in a tight battle while Manurewa claimed a 52-29 win over Te Kohanga at Mountfort Park.
Karaka reversed last week’s result to beat Patumahoe Dave Redshaw Electrical 26-17 in Bob Chandler Cup Premier Reserves action.
Elsewhere Bombay Pokeno Bacon maintained their position atop the standings with a 20-13 win over Ardmore Marist Barfoot & Thompson while Manurewa Wise Property Management beat Pukekohe 17-10.
Manurewa Barfoot & Thompson secured a huge result with a 25-3 win at Papakura Thirsty Liquor while Patumahoe CJM Construction moved to a share of the competition lead alongside Manurewa with a 32-14 win over Karaka.
Pukekohe beat Waiuku 20-11.
Papakura Thirsty Liquor claimed the honours in the Counties Power Game of the Week as they defeated Beachlands-Maraetai 27-10 to pick up their first win of the season.
Elsewhere in the grade Waiuku beat Pukekohe 34-8 and Onewhero grabbed a superb 17-9 win over Karaka.
Patumahoe Pak N Save Pukekohe got a default win against Bombay to remain top.
Ponsonby proved too strong for Manurewa in the Women’s Premiership – backing up their final win from last season.
Papakura fell to Albany Barbarians 32-5 while Patumahoe Searle Group lost to Te Papapa 29-7.
Counties Power Club Rugby Results 29 May 2021:
McNamara Cup (Premiership):
Bombay Super Freight 26-26 Waiuku Land & Sea Civil
Papakura Thirsty Liquor 5-64 Ardmore Marist South Auckland Motors
Manurewa Kidd Contracting 27-23 Pukekohe Mitre 10 Mega Pukekohe Manurewa Counties Power Cup Holders
Patumahoe Troydon Patumahoe Hotel 36-41 Karaka
Weymouth 7-47 Onewhero Summit Homes
Sid Marshall Shield (Championship):
Tuakau 18-19 Maramarua
Papakura Thirsty Liquor 34-35 Puni
Te Kauwhata PROCLAD 31-0 Pukekohe
Manurewa 52-29 Te Kohanga
Patumahoe Village Bar & Grill 10-24 Drury
Bob Chandler Cup (Premier Reserves):
Manurewa Wise Property Management 17-10 Pukekohe
Patumahoe Dave Redshaw Electrical 17-26 Karaka
Bombay Pokeno Bacon 20-13 Ardmore Marist Barfoot & Thompson
Massey Cup (Under 21):
Papakura Thirsty Liquor 3-25 Manurewa Barfoot & Thompson
Waiuku 11-20 Pukekohe
Patumahoe CJM Construction 32-14 Karaka
Bombay defaulted to Patumahoe
Onewhero 17-9 Karaka
Papakura Thirsty Liquor 27-10 Beachlands Maraetai
Pukekohe 8-34 Waiuku
Ardmore Marist BYE
Albany Barbarians 32-5 Papakura
Manurewa 12-26 Ponsonby
Patumahoe 7-29 Te Papapa
Counties Power Club Rugby Draws 2021:
McNamara Cup (Premiership) & Bob Chandler Cup (Premier Reserves)
Will be confirmed on Monday.
Both grades will play Queens Birthday Weekend
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