Around the Grounds - 28 April

Exciting Championship season begins
A bumper list of team entries begins the Championship competition this weekend in an encouraging sign for the sport.
A total of 10 clubs – Drury, Te Kauwhata, Maramarua, Puni, Tuakau, Te Kohanga, Patumahoe, Manurewa, Papakura and Pukekohe have entered teams in the grade.
Good luck to all involved.

Angry coach gets results
Which coach gave his side an epic spray that immediately paid dividends?
After turning in a poor showing the week before, the team in question responded with their best performance of the season last week.

Best start in years for Waiuku
Waiuku Land & Sea Civil have made the best start to a McNamara Cup campaign in several seasons – winning three of their first four matches to lie in a share of second place on the standings.
Traditionally fast finishers in recent seasons, the cracking start bodes well for later in the season when the top five teams split off to play for the McNamara Cup.

Ruthless format to test clubs
Speaking of fast starts – clubs can ill-afford to string poor games back-to-back this season with the format being so cut-throat.
The competition will split into a top five, bottom five after the first nine weeks, with the top five teams continuing on to play for the McNamara Cup.
If your team sits sixth or worse after the first round, any chance of winning the top prize will be gone.
What that means is a couple of strong clubs are going to be very disappointed at the end of May.

Nock impressed with road trip
New coach Peter Nock has made a great start at the helm of Waiuku but we was quick to praise an opponent last week.
Making his first ever trip to Onewhero, Nock said he loved the hospitality and said the club facilities were a credit to their organisation.

CMRFU working with Bulls
Counties Manukau Rugby is forging a good working relationship with the Franklin Bulls basketball franchise competing in the New Zealand Basketball League.
The two organisations will share info and will collaborate together on a few things in a partnership that will have mutual benefits.
The Bulls hosted the first ever NBL game in Pukekohe on Sunday just down the road from Navigation Homes Stadium at the Franklin Pool & Leisure Centre, where CMRFU teams train.

Royal turns back the years
Joe Royal made a big impact at Patumahoe during his first stint with the club and has done something similar since returning in 2021.
The experienced hooker bagged a hat-trick in his side’s win over Bombay last weekend and will no doubt have PIC Steelers coach Tai Lavea watching closely.