Sun, 09 Apr 2017
Ardmore Marist South Auckland Motors justified their top spot in beating Bombay Gough Cat 24-23 in a thrilling replay of last year’s championship final to take the Counties Power Cup in the process.
A last minute try saw the visitors grab another win to remain at the top of the standings but it came in dramatic circumstances.
Each team scored twice in the final 10 minutes – Bombay grabbing a try beneath the posts with three minutes to play that looked like it would seal a win but Ardmore Marist struck back with a try in left-wing corner to snatch victory at the death and reverse the result from last year’s championship decider.
Ardmore Marist coach Sau Leaupepetele was delighted that his side came out on top of the nail-biter.
“It was a tough game. We knew going into it that it would be a hard game going up the hill there and running into a side that had hit some form,” Leaupepetele says.
“They have created a bit of a fortress up there over the last three years with what they have done results-wise.
“It was a very tough and very physical game but also a stop-start game from both teams. “I think the difference was we played the full 80 minutes – most teams would have tapped out when a team comes back and scores with three minutes to go but we came back. “There was nothing much between us but the boys didn’t give up.”
The win was even more special given the injury concerns Ardmore Marist suffered. Their two starting props were scratched just before the game while experienced hooker Suliasi Taufalele succumbed to a hamstring injury 10 minutes into the game.
“It is not the best rugby we have played but definitely character-wise it has set a platform for us,” Leaupepetele says.
“The whole front row had to change for 70 minutes of the game and they did the job. It was a big effort from our front row.
The game did have a high injury toll for us but hopefully we can use that as momentum for the rest of the first round.”
Manurewa Kidd Contracting delivered on some of the promise they have shown in the first month of the competition with a comprehensive 74-7 thrashing of Te Kauwhata at Te Kauwhata Domain.
The home side was still in the game at halftime but Manurewa let rip in the second spell and racked up 12 tries in total - Faalata Punatai claiming a hat-trick with Jamie Metcalfe, Migao Tololvae and Peter White all grabbing a double.
Pukekohe Mitre 10 Mega got back to winning ways with a 45-7 thrashing of Papakura.
Waka Setitaia’s side has looked capable of beating the best sides this season but haven’t been able to string wins together through a tough early schedule.
“I was happy what we did on Tuesday and Thursday at training turned out well for us,” the former Counties Manukau Steeler says. “Everyone knew their roles really well and it worked well for us.
“Consistency is really important. It comes back to training and working hard there.
“Waiuku won’t be easy next week especially out there.”
Patumahoe Hotel got a massive boost with the acquisition of former Bay of Plenty front rower Joe Royal and his impact off the bench helped the visitors take a narrow 28-27 win over Onewhero Counties Bulk Haulage.
“Having Joe Royal really added to our forward pack – it added a lot of mana to our team,” coach Jeff Maka says.
“He came off the bench and played 35 minutes. He made a massive difference – leadership as well.”
Patumahoe had to chase the game in the second spell after Onewhero cleared out to a nine-point lead at one stage.
“I think at the end our guys wanted it more,” Maka says. “They showed good character to come back from 27-18 down to win that game. It was pretty tough up there.
“We’ve worked hard all week on cleaning out in the ruck area because I thought that is where we were dominated in our last two games.”
Karaka continued their winning run – extending their streak to four games – with a 53-10 win over Waiuku Brian James Contracting.
Craig Hill’s side locked up a four-try bonus point inside the first quarter of the game and were never troubled as they climbed to second on the ladder.
“We had a very good start, scored four tries in the first 20 minutes and led 22-nil. The boys came out pretty fired up and scored some nice tries in the backs.”
Karaka were celebrating a couple of milestone games – Russell Coutts brought up 100 games for the club while John Fifita reached the 50 game mark and Hill could see the side was keen to mark the occasion with a strong performance.
“It was a different feel this week – especially before the game. There was a lot of intensity in it and they were ready to go for those boys.”
Ardmore Marist’s Vini Iosua finds himself alone in first place on the AS Wilcox and Sons Leaderboard for tries with five while teammate Solomona Paraki is the competition’s leading point-scorer with 50.
In other performances Waiuku U21s had a superb 36-19 victory over Manuerwa while Bombay, Patumahoe and Karaka also registered wins. Maramarua and Weymouth both had wins in Premier 3 action and Bombay Pokeno Bacon got the victory in the Premier 2 match against Ardmore Marist.
McNamara Cup (Premier 1)
Pukekohe Mitre 10 Mega 45
(Sione Oliver 2, George Maka 2, Rupeni Vosayaco, William Bond, Joe Reynolds tries; Joe Reynolds 5 cons)
Papakura Ray White 7
(Shirley Halasima tries; Dylan Watters cons)
HT – 33-0
Bombay Gough Cat 23
(Patrick Masoe, Jordan Goldsmith tries; Ki Anufe 2 cons; Ki Anufe 2 pens; Ki Anufe DK)
Ardmore Marist South Auckland Motors 24 (Counties Power Cup Holders)
(Isileli Falkaono, Richard Mariota, Jason Guthrie, Vini Iosua tries; Solomona Paraki 2 cons)
HT – 6-10
Te Kauwhata EnviroWaste 7
(Peniueti Lausii tries; Vilitati Sabani cons)
Manurewa Kidd Contracting 74
(Faalata Punatai 3, Jamie Metcalfe 2, Migao Tololvae 2, Peter White 2, David Osofua, Bradley Wade, Joshua Saifiti tries; Bradley Wade 2, Joshua Saifiti 4 cons)
HT – 7-24
Onewhero Counties Bulk Haulage 27
(Rhain Strang, Ilaisa Koaneti, Richard Paulsen, Hunter Jack tries; Rhain Strang, Nicholas Perez cons; Nicholas Perez pens)
Patumahoe Hotel 28
HT – 20-15
Karaka (Counties Power Game of the Week) 53
(Walter Fifita 2, Raymond Fuilala, Scott Allison, Lepetimalo Lauese, Conall Bromwich, Andrew West, Nicholas Worthington, Patric Tulafasa tries; Orbyn Leger 4 cons)
Waiuku Brian James Contracting 10
(Michael Poa, Joel Fraser tries)
HT – 34-5
Bob Chandler Memorial (Premier 2)
Pukekohe 50 Papakura 12; Bombay Pokeno Bacon 21 Ardmore Marist Ross Roof Group 12; Te Kauwhata 7 Manurewa 71; Onewhero 17 Patumahoe 60; Karaka 48 Waiuku 27.
Sid Marshall Shield (Premier 3)
Te Kohanga 17 Maramarua 22; Manurewa 12 Weymouth 32.
Massey Cup (U21)
Papakura 0 Bombay 26; Ardmore Marist Ross Roof Group 8 Patumahoe 52; Waiuku 36 Manurewa 19, Pukekohe 0 Karaka 10.
Onewhero 10 Bombay Lincoln Farms 74; Waiuku 11 Karaka 24; Ardmore Marist 29 Drury 5