Around the Grounds - Round 9

So close
Spare a thought for the Manurewa women’s team that finished runner-up to Ponsonby in the Auckland Premier competition this season.
The Manurewa side carried an unbeaten season into the final. They finished the game locked up with Ponsonby and had to two periods of extra time before they finally conceded the game while out on their feet.
The whole province feels they did our region proud and we congratulate them on a superb season.
A special note too for the Papakura women, who convincingly won the final of the Premier Reserves competition.

Clubs to consider new structure
The clubs of Counties Manukau will consider a range of different proposals that will form the structure of club rugby in 2021 and beyond.
The current structure is one option on the table while there are other options that include starting rugby later and having Easter off, promotion-relegation, expanded Premier 1 before a split round and even Friday night U21s that finish up at the beginning of May.
Feedback will be provided before a decision is reached at the September Council of Delegates meeting.

Club Finals day format confirmed
The Premier 1 final will take place at 4pm on Saturday September 12 at Navigation Homes Stadium – in the lead-up to the PIC Steelers Mitre 10 Cup opener against defending champions Tasman that night.
The Premier 2 and Premier 3 finals will also take place at Navigation Homes Stadium on the same day with games set for midday and 2pm but final confirmation of fixtures will be confirmed by the Council of Delegates exec once teams have qualified and with consideration around supporters wanting to watch multiple games.

High Performance team moving
Counties Manukau Rugby is moving their High Performance team to the main offices in Pukekohe this week.
They’ve been based out at Drury for a long time so will be good to have the whole team together. High Performance trainer Jed Knox is baking a cake in celebration.

Milestone for Onewhero veteran
Robert Katu was Presented his 150th game recognition at the Onewhero celebration day last Saturday.
PIC Steelers assistant coach Grant Henson was on hand to see Katu receive a tribute in his honour.

Disappointment for Hohepa
Patumahoe’s Riley Hohepa was a big name omission from the PIC Steelers squad named by coach Tai Lavea earlier this week.
The first-five, who played for the PIC Steelers last year, has battled injury this season, struggled in a club side that hasn’t been winning and missed last weekend’s game due to a close friend’s stag do.
Lavea spoke to Hohepa when the side was announced to explain his reasons. Hohepa has taken the decision on the chin and is vowing to come back stronger whenever he gets a chance again.