Pukekohe Mitre 10 Mega spoiled the party with a 33-20 victory at Onewhero as the home club celebrated their centenary in front of a big crowd braving the wintery conditions on Saturday.
Sean Polwart’s side bagged four tries in the win to secure a bonus point and their first competition points of the McNamara Cup season.
It was a gritty performance that was based around keeping things fairly tight although centre Juan Benadie and left winger Louis Taylor impressed with ball in hand.
Benadie contributed a personal haul of 16 points as he deputised with goal-kicking duties for the injury Jarrod Halliday.
“It was tough – Onewhero is always tough on the hill and we knew they would make it a tussle.
“Our boys started really well but we hurt ourselves with discipline; soft penalties but once we cleaned that up we got the ball moving and were able to score some nice tries.
“There is still plenty to work on going into a tough game against Karaka for Sione’s [Fifita] 100th – so we are looking forward to that.”
The official centenary for Onewhero was actually last year but COVID lockdown prevented them from celebrating. The club was forced to postpone a couple of times before opting to choose their game against old rivals Pukekohe as the big day.
“The Onewhero and Pukekohe clash – I’ve coached for a few years now - and there is a real mutual respect between the two clubs,” Polwart said. “They want to get each other on the field but afterwards it is always good and to see the turn out despite an average day with the weather is great.
“I am stoked for them to celebrate this milestone because COVID has spoiled it for them and I hope they can enjoy the rest of their season.”
Karaka remains atop the standings after they thrashed Weymouth 90-0 in the first premier match at Laurie Gibbons Field in a number of seasons.
Following on from a big opening week win over Onewhero, Karaka kept racking up the points as their attack didn’t seem bothered by the wet conditions.
Front rower Penisoni Fineanganofo collected a staggering four tries in the win.
“I’m pretty happy with the performance in difficult conditions,” coach Craig Hill said.
“It was based on set piece, which operated well, especially the line-out and we were able to keep hold of possession and play from there.
“There were good performances in the forward pack from Penisoni Fineanganofo, Oneone Faafou and Fedrick Cain.
“To Weymouth’s credit they kept at it for the full 80 minutes.”
Weymouth veteran Jack Tuala celebrated his 200th game for his beloved club.
Manurewa Kidd Contracting picked up their first win of the McNamara Cup season as they enjoyed a comfortable 35-0 blanking of Waiuku Land & Sea Civil at Mountfort Park.
Despite an impressive score line Manurewa coach Jeremy Clarke said his side was a long way from their best.
“It was messy,” Clarke said. “The conditions weren’t ideal – we needed the weather to be dry and we didn’t really adapt.
“There is a lot of improvement in us but to get that result is pleasing.
“The first half finished 13-0 to us and we were playing into a strong wind. We played in the right parts of the field.
“They didn’t really play to field position while playing with the wind and that really played into our hands.
“They have a lot of really good players and the result isn’t a true indication of how good they are.”
Bombay Super Freight – the reigning McNamara Cup champions from 2019 – had to work extremely hard to beat a spirited Papakura Thirsty Liquor 12-6 at Massey Park.
There was little between the two sides and Papakura will be encouraged to earn a bonus point.
“I’m happy we got the win even if it was an ugly win but there were a lot of work-ons for us and things we need to fix before playing a really good ‘Rewa side,” coach Sam Aiono said.
“We probably didn’t adapt to the conditions but that’s something we’ll learn throughout this season.
“Full credit to Papakura, who put pressure on us the whole game; they’ll definitely put in a few upsets this season.”
Ardmore Marist South Auckland Motors were the cream of the crop in 2020 before COVID forced the cancellation of the competition.
After a close-fought win over fellow heavyweights Manurewa in week one, they were pushed hard by Patumahoe Troydon Patumahoe hotel on the road.
Doug Sanft’s side claimed a 15-7 win and retained the Counties Power Cup in the process.
“We went out there with a plan to throw the ball around a bit and to push them back into the corners because we knew their back three like to have a go,” assistant coach Carwyn Chase said.
“The weather tightened things up more than we wanted.
“They are a tough side – especially out there.
“It was a physical battle. We got on top in that first half but they came back really strong in the second half and we were luck to hold on there.”
Te Kauwhata Proclad put the gumboot on the line in their Championship pre-season fixture against neighbours Maramarua and earned a 19-0 win for their troubles.
The weekend also saw the return of Te Kohanga as they pushed Papakura hard in a Championship pre-season game.
Counties Power Club Rugby Results 10 April 2021
McNamara Cup (Premiership):
Onewhero 20-33 Pukekohe Mitre 10 Mega Pukekohe (Counties Power Game of the Week)
Papakura Thirsty Liquor 6-12 Bombay Super Freight
Manurewa Kidd Contracting 35-0 Waiuku Land & Sea Civil
Patumahoe Troydon Patumahoe Hotel 7-15 Ardmore Marist South Auckland Motors (Counties Power Cup Holders)
Weymouth 0-90 Karaka
Sid Marshall Shield (Championship): (Pre-season)
Puni 12-50 Drury
Te Kauwhata Proclad 19-0 Maramarua
Papakura Thirsty Liquor 15-12 Te Kohanga
Pukekohe Tuakau No result
Patumahoe Village Bar and Grill Manurewa – Match was cancelled
Waitemata 0-60 Ardmore Marist
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