Thu, 17 Mar 2016
The Manurewa Premiers host Onewhero in this week’s Counties Power Game of the Week at Mountford Park 2 at 2.45pm on Saturday.
Onewhero got their Challenge Cup Premier campaign off to a great start last week, defeating the 2015 McNarama Cup Champions, Bombay 23-20 at home.
Coach Adam Cathcart was pleased with his side’s attacking effort on Saturday, but he’s demanding better defence against Manurewa this weekend.
“We were pretty slack on defence against Bombay, they broke us more than we would have liked. We just need to tighten up, as we did a lot of tackling so hopefully we can have the ball a bit more this weekend.”
Steelers prop Sean Bagshaw returns for Onewhero this week. He missed the Bombay game because he was playing for the Counties Cavaliers who took on the New Zealand Under-20’s in a trial game in Palmerston North on Saturday.
However, Cathcart will be without second-five Connor O’Hagan who left the field in the first 15 minutes last week with a knee injury.
Onewhero are expecting the typical Manurewa flare when they face off in the Counties Power Game of the Week.
“They like to play from anywhere and they are always really dangerous with the ball in hand so we will have to watch out for that,” Cathcart said.
Despite an 18-0 first up loss to Patumahoe at ECOLight Stadium 2 last weekend, Manurewa were relatively pleased with how they went. They created a lot of opportunities, but just weren’t quite able to capitalise.
Manurewa assistant coach Josh Levi thought they played really well in patches.
“It was more just our finishing off. We worked hard to get down the right end of the field but then just couldn’t get the points. We lost our possession, so we didn’t help ourselves.”
Levi says ball retention will be a real work on for his side on Saturday.
“We just need to hold onto the pill and pick the right time and moments to carry the ball. But in terms of where we were this time last year, we are hugely improved.”
Manurewa midfielder Gene Te Amo returns after playing in the New Zealand Under-20 trial match against the Cavaliers on Saturday. Manurewa will also have a couple of other players back from injury.
Head to Mountford Park 2 at 2.45pm on Saturday to watch the Counties Power Game of the Week between the Manurewa and Onewhero Premiers.