Thu, 24 Mar 2016
This Easter Weekend see’s the Patumahoe Premier side hosting Ardmore Marist South Auckland Motors in the Counties Power Game of the Week.
These two Premier sides had a couple of great battles last year, with Ardmore Marist winning 28-24 at Patumahoe in Round 5 of the Challenge Cup and Patumahoe clinching a 23-22 victory at Bruce Pulman Park in Round 2 of the McNamara Cup.
Both Patumahoe and Ardmore Marist South Auckland Motors are two from two so far this season, and they’ll both be looking to continue their perfect start to the Challenge Cup this Saturday. Ardmore Marist sit top of the table with Waiuku after two rounds, while Patumahoe are a point behind in third.
Ardmore Marist President Glen Flavell said even though they’ve had a couple of good wins first up, they’ll need to step it up to another level against Patumahoe.
“We’ve got a real young side and if we want to be competitive against Patumahoe then we have to play well for the whole 80 minutes. It’s always a tough contest playing them and even more so when they are at home, but the boys are really looking forward to this weekend and it will be a good test to see how far we’ve come as a team.”
Ardmore Marist came through last weekend’s win over Te Kauwhata relatively unscathed, and they aren’t planning on having any major personnel changes for Saturday.
The Counties Power Cup holders still have a few guys away on representative duties and they have a number of players on the cusp of being called into international rep sides, so the Ardmore Marist coaches are working together to identify cover and try and create depth in within the club.
Flavell knows Patumahoe head coach John Penberthy will have his team well prepared for their match-up on Saturday and he’s expecting a real physical encounter.
Patumahoe will have more or less a full squad to choose from this week, but they do have a couple of guys away due to personal commitments.
Outside back Josh Van Lieshout is still unavailable due to New Zealand Sevens duty and Penberthy said it’s a week-by-week situation about when they get him back.
Penberthy wants his side to reduce the unforced error rate and be more accurate in core roles against Ardmore Marist in the Counties Power Game of the Week at Patumahoe on Saturday.
“Ardmore Marist are probably, on paper, the form team of the Challenge Cup. They have a lot of talent from 1 to 22 so if we are off our guard they will deal to us. We need to be in the zone and we definitely won’t be taking them lightly because they are a class team, probably the best in the competition at the moment.”
Get down to Patumahoe 1 on Saturday at 2.45pm to watch this week’s Counties Power Game of the Week between Patumahoe and Ardmore Marist South Auckland Motors Premiers.
Photo Credit: Richard Spranger Photography