Thu, 26 May 2016
The second round of the Premier Reserve competition kicks off this weekend and Pukekohe take on Manurewa in the Counties Power Game of the Week at Colin Lawrie Fields 1 on Saturday at 1:00pm.
Pukekohe finished fifth in the Don Shuker Cup, while Manurewa finished sixth.
Manurewa picked up a big 57-0 victory over Te Kauwhata last weekend and coach Terry Myers said his side came through pretty well after the encounter.
“We have had a couple of injuries, so a couple of our key players weren’t even playing so we are hoping they will be back this weekend. Our centre Romeo Misipati was called into work at the last minute so he was unavailable for the game on Saturday. It would have been good to have our best line up on the field because at that point we didn’t know who we were playing this weekend.”
Pukekohe won the encounter between the two sides in the first round, 29-22 and Myers credited Pukekohe for their strong first half.
“They had a very good attacking side from the backs. We did come back in the second half but in the first half they dominated us. Credit to our guys for coming back, because it was only 7 points between us at the end and it was something like 26-7 at half time. They boys dug deep, so we will be looking to build on that second half on Saturday.”
Manurewa have a more settled squad now. They lost quite a few of their backline to the Premier side and also injuries, but they have now got a solid squad of 25 players. Myers said it’s a huge loss when quality players go up to the Premier side, but also really positive for the club that the reserves players are being promoted.
For Pukekohe Premier Reserve coach Keith McDonald, he should have a full complement of players to choose from for the Counties Power Game of the Week. Pukekohe defeated Onewhero Hinemoa Produce/Livestock NZ 37-3 last weekend and McDonald said his side should be pretty stable this weekend.
“We are expecting to be a full strength for the Manurewa match, but a lot can happen in a few days. We will need our top side too, because Manurewa are normally top four contenders so we respect them for that. We will certainly be putting the best we can on the field on Saturday.”
McDonald said his side will be wary of Manurewa after they came back at them in the second half of their last encounter.
“We made a few replacements in the second half which didn’t really go in our favour. Manurewa are a typical throw the ball around and have a go from anywhere type of side, so we have to be strong on defence and work hard together as a team.”
He didn’t want to single out any individual players, but McDonald said his side’s team work has been their strength so far this season.
“We’ve been able to pull together at crucial times when things get tight. We have worked hard for each other. I wouldn’t say there are stand outs, but collectively as a team we work well together.”
Get to Colin Lawrie Fields 1 at 2:45pm on Saturday to watch the Counties Power Game of the Week between Pukekohe and Manurewa Premier Reserves.
Richard Spranger Photo Credit