Sun, 24 Jul 2016
Bombay Gough Cat made it three in a row as they were crowned McNamara Cup Premier champions at ECOLight Stadium yesterday.
The defending champions defeated a spirited Ardmore Marist South Auckland outfit 24-21 in what was an entertaining and competitive Counties Power Club Rugby final on a wet winter’s day.
Bombay got themselves on the scoresheet early, through a Ki Anufe penalty, but it was Ardmore Marist who drew first blood with the try scoring with hooker Suliasi Taufalele crossing the line. Ardmore Marist held onto the lead for a while before Bombay winger Sepuloni Taufa scored on the left sideline. Bombay made an error from the next kick off which Alex Samoa pounced on, scoring just before the break. Ardmore Marist led 14-8 at half time.
First five-eighth Ki Anufe went well with the boot for Bombay, kicking four penalties and one conversion. He successfully kicked two penalties early in the second half to level scores at 14-all. It was a tense and exciting last 15 minutes with both sides giving it their all in front of a great crowd at ECOLight Stadium. Prop Kalolo Tuiloma scored for Bombay with 5 minutes to go to give his side the lead. Suliasi Taufalele scored his second for Ardmore Marist right on full time, but it wasn’t enough to secure the victory.
Bombay coach Jeff Marr said winning the McNamara Cup for a third straight year is unbelievable.
“It was always something we were trying to chase from the start of the year, but to actually get there, particularly after the last month with a few hiccups along the way is tremendous. Our team never gives up and I said before the game that quitters never win and winners never quit and I think that showed out there that we always play for 80 minutes.”
Marr credited Ardmore Marist, saying they threw everything at his side.
“They brought more to the game than we probably expected. They played some really good finals football. We just had to hold tough. We wanted to play into the wind to start with and soak it up but we were pretty disappointed with some of our structures and they really capitalised on it. We were very lucky in a couple of occasions, they nearly caught us out. We always knew that with the return of that wind and only just being behind on the scoreboard we could chase them home.”
Marr wanted to say a big thank you to his management team; assistant coach Paul Wheeler who was originally defensive coach and ended up doing a lot more this season while fellow assistant Semo Sititi was away with Manu Samoa for 9-10 weeks. Manager Leigh Clarke who has been fantastic, taking soup for the players on training night. Also Jed Knox who has been promoted to the Steelers in 2016.
Rain and wet conditions also played its part in the Sid Marshall Shield Premier final between Patumahoe Hotel and Onewhero Counties Bulk Haulage/Carters at ECOLight Stadium. Patumahoe went on to win the match 13-3, after leading 10-0 at half time. It was a physical encounter, with Harley Jenkins scoring the only try of the match. Riley Hohepa kicked a conversion and two penalties for Patumahoe, with Luke Makris kicking Onewhero’s three points.
Patumahoe coach John Penberthy said conditions were tough, but they got the job done.
“We made a real effort to front up and put on a good performance. We were hoping for better weather so we could have used the ball, but you can’t control that. We were just pleased to get through in the end.”
Karaka defended the Bob Chandler Memorial Premier Reserve title with a convincing 41-12 victory over Ardmore Marist Harcourt’s in front of a very vocal crowd at ECOLight Stadium 2.
In the Bill Marsh Cup Premier Reserves final, Patumahoe Hutton Builders were crowned victors with a 27-8 win over Manurewa.
Pukekohe also defended their Massey Cup Under 21 title. They were crowned champions for 2016 with a resounding 36-0 win over Patumahoe Albycon Ltd at Colin Lawrie Fields.
Patumahoe Pak ‘N’ Save ended their remarkable Under 85kg season with a 35-5 victory over Ardmore Marist Harcourt’s at home. Patumahoe were victorious and the win meant they went through the entire Counties Power Club Rugby season unbeaten for 2016.
In the Under 20 competition, Pukekohe picked up a great win over Manukau 45-17, while Beachlands Maraetai had a bye.
All information supplied by team sheets and coaches.