Around the Grounds - Round 6

How good is Puni going?
The Puni Premier 3 side is roaring at the moment – beating defending champions Maramarua last week and now sit in second place in the standings.
Their women’s team won their first game since putting a side together for 2020 with an impressive showing against Patumahoe and they had a couple of hundred spectators on hand to watch as well.
It is rich reward for club icon Jack Kani and his crew.

Premier 3 cash on telly
Speaking of Premier 3 the Maramarua v Drury game will be televised live on Sky Sport’s Grassroots Rugby this weekend.
The two sides meet in a Sid Marshall Shield contest at Maramarua and a big crowd is expected to watch.

Stars support Beachlands fundraiser
Another World Cup winning former All Black first five Grant Fox and renowned commentator Scotty Stevenson will be guest speakers at a Beachlands Maraetai fundraiser night next week.
Live and silent auctions, dancing and good fun will be had on the night with doors opening at 6pm. Nibbles and supper is provided and tickets can be purchased by contacting Steph on 021 164 5111.

Hard done by?
Which club has photographic evidence that supports a try being scored that was ruled out by a referee last weekend?
It is debatable whether the no try call would have altered the end result but the club on the receiving end found little comfort in seeing proof they should have been awarded a try.
The club in question was the beneficiary of some 50-50 calls in big games in recent years, proving that luck comes in swings and roundabouts and generally evens itself out in the end.

He called it
You have to hand it to Onewhero coach Jason Myks, who confidently predicted his side’s win over Pukekohe last weekend – the first for his club this season.
Myks’ side had run teams close all season and he said in the Game of the Week preview story last week that he felt his side were ready to beat Pukekohe.
Myks went on to say they could go on a roll once they got that first victory so Waiuku should be wary of that prediction too.

For those who missed the Round 5 Chapter, keep reading!

CEO playing through pain

Credit goes to CMRFU CEO Aaron Lawton for lasting the full 80 minutes at the Premier 1 clash between Pukekohe and Ardmore Marist a fortnight ago.
The Union boss had been battling a bit with a stomach bug on Saturday morning but thought it would pass and decided to get down to the rugby. Unfortunately during the first half he was seen making a beeline for the bushes for a vomit.
We hear he steadily went downhill from there. So why didn’t he just leave and go home at halftime? Turns out he’d picked Steelers coach Tai Lavea up on the way out to Puke and the head coach wasn’t keen to miss a minute of club footy. Nice commitment gents and also explains why they left straight afterwards without stopping in the clubrooms for a post-match drink.

Referees to crack down on foul play
There has been a spate of foul play and poor side line behaviour since the resumption of club rugby, particularly in the U21 and U85 grades.
Referees boss Brandon Roberts and the Council of Delegates have agreed to be much tougher on this from now on.
Clubs backed the stance and are promising to do their part to clean up the game.

Refs to work with clubs
Speaking of referees - Roberts met with Waiuku Brian James Contracting last week at training to help go through some of the issues they were penalised for at the weekend after the club got on the front foot and asked for his assistance.
The Referee Education Officer has done similar things with other clubs already and is employing a concept of working with clubs to help improve their ability to adapt to various law interpretations that should make everyone better off.

Coach worse for wear
Which Premier 1 coach was considerably dusty on Sunday morning after a rather large court session following a win in recent weeks?
The coach in question was brave enough to front up for a Sunday morning media interview despite feeling under the weather and should be commended for his commitment.

Anyone seen the Cup?
Manurewa Kidd Contracting lifted the Counties Power Cup from Ardmore Marist South Auckland Motors a couple of weeks ago and successfully defended it against Onewhero Summit Homes at Mountfort Park.
But the glaring omission from the side line or the after match was the actual Cup itself.
Ardmore Marist didn’t receive it when they won it and there were phone calls between various clubs trying to locate the piece of silverware.
A new rule of presenting the Cup on the field immediately after full-time is likely to take effect once the Cup is returned.

Small celebration for Onewhero
The official centenary celebrations at the Onewhero Rugby Club have been shifted to earlier next year – looking likely to be 12-13 March 2021.
But on the August 1 this year both the Premier 1 side playing Bombay and U85’s are at home, so the club is going to celebrate the centenary year, together with Sponsors Day and Ladies Day.
It will be a nice recognition of the club’s achievement in what has been a trying year due to the Covid-19 lockdown.