Counties Power Club Rugby Round Up – April 2

DateSun, 03 Apr 2016


Josh Van Lieshout starred for Patumahoe Hotel in his return to Counties Power Challenge Cup Premier club rugby on Saturday. He scored four tries in his sides 100-3 win over Drury at the Drury Domain.


The Counties Power Cup holders led 52-0 at half time and kept the foot on the throttle in the second half, eventually scoring 16 tries in the match. Riley Hohepa kicked 10 conversions in the win.


Patumahoe Manager Paul Batters definitely noticed a difference in Van Lieshout after his time away with the All Blacks Sevens team.


“Yea he’s come back with a really good attitude and he got stuck in which was great. It’s the first time he’s been available to us this season and the boys loved having him back, he’s a good communicator. “


Batters said the guys stuck to their patterns as best they could and the coaches were happy with their defence, as they didn’t concede a try. He also credited their openside flanker Craig Jones who had another good game. He got stuck into everything and gave it his all.


Ardmore Marist South Auckland Motors held on to defeat a spirited Onewhero Counties Bulk Haulage/Cartage side 21-17 at Bruce Pulman Park.


The home side led 21-7 at halftime, with Lolohea Loco dotting down in the corner and number eight Sione Hifo and Karl Ropati also scoring in the first forty. But a halftime rev up by Onewhero coach Adam Cathcart saw his side claw their way back into the match.


Ardmore Marist president Glen Flavell says although it’s cliché, it certainly was a game of two halves.


“We had a really solid first half, but Onewhero really came firing back at us in the second spell. It was really heart in the mouth stuff for a while as they were climbing back on the scoreboard. Real credit to them, they never gave up and they had a lot of fight and obviously they are a strong team with the results they have had this season. It really could have gone either way, but luckily our boys held on for the win.”


Flavell said coach Saua Leaupepetele had been working really hard with the boys and after last week’s loss to Patumahoe, they all sat down and had a chat about what they all wanted from the season.


“They came back with a good attitude this week. Our fullback Preston Elama had a great game, he’s back at the club this year after a few years overseas and he loves being back. He led by example in the backs. And again our co-captain Onosa’i Auva’a was so valuable. He has the heart the size of a freight train and the boys always respond to that.”


There were dramatic scenes on the hill, as Bombay Gough Cat stole victory off Pukekohe Mitre 10 Mega right on full time, to win 25-24.


The home side trailed 8-6 at half time and they were down for the whole second half as well, before they managed to score a 7-pointer at the death. Bombay coach Jeff Marr said victory was looking very unlikely for his side with 20 minutes to go.

“We made a couple of substitutions and they brought a whole different attitude and a bit more go forward, so we’ve been really happy with the bench for the last few weeks. They helped bring it home for us. We made far too many mistakes and we have plenty to work on for next week. We got out of this one really luckily. But those four points are really good to pocket because there is a real log jam at the moment, with a lot of teams vying for those top four positions.”


Marr said Pukekohe played really well. They disrupted Bombay’s flow and put pressure on them at scrum time. He was impressed again with his halfback Liam Daniela.


“He played well and kept rallying the troops and I thought Miracle Tulua-Taito our number 6 had a great game. He brought a real physical presence. Patrick Masoe and Sam Vaka played well in the backs again and credit to Ki Anufe who came off the bench strongly.”


An injury-hit Waiuku Brian James Contracting side came away with a 15-3 win over Te Kauwhata away from home. Waiuku coach Jimmy Robinson said they only had seven fit backs this week, which made things really tough.


“It just took us a while to get into it. There was no score at half time, so I gave them a bit of a rark up at the break and they pulled their socks up a bit in the second half. We started to get some go forward ball in the midfield and our winger Bryce Vaireka scored a couple of quick tries out wide. But yea it was just one of those games where things didn’t really click, but still happy to get the win.”


Robinson said they have had a couple of guys have operations which aren’t rugby related and they are losing their second-five this week, who will be in Australia. He credited three of his stand out players.


“Halfback Joe Dawson was really good as well as our number 7 Ethan James and Bryce Vaireka. They are the only three who can be really happy with their game I would say. I also thought Te Kauwhata were quite good, they were really passionate on their home ground and had some good ball runners and tacklers.”


Karaka took the five points on offer against Weymouth at Laurie Gibbons Domain, coming away with a 63-8 win. But it was a really frustrating game for Karaka coach Craig Hill.


“It was a pretty stop start game. A lot of mistakes and a lot of injury stoppages, so the game didn’t really flow as much as we would have liked. Our second half was much better than the first. We started with a lot more urgency. I thought the first half was pretty disappointing. We made some changed and the new boys added a bit so that was good, but as I say it was a frustrating game.”


Hill thought lock Harry Fitzsimons had a great game, working hard the entire match and he also singled out fullback Kalione Hala who bagged a hat trick.


Manurewa picked up their first win of the Challenge Cup season, with a 37-13 bonus point win over Papakura Ray White at Mountfort Park.


The home side got off to a strong start and led 20-8 at the half time break. Gene TeAmo and Taavili Patea both scored two tries each, while Daniel Hudson and Tailua Milival each bagged a single for Manurewa in the win.


Manurewa assistant coach Josh Levi was delighted with the win and said their season starts now. 


"We had a tough start to the season, losing our opening three games but this win is great. We sat down afterwards and decided that now we have our first win under the belt we can forget about the start of the season and focus on going forward."


View photos from the Manurewa vs Papakura game from Richard Spranger:


Patumahoe Hotel sit at the top of the Counties Power Challenge Cup Standings. Karaka, Onewhero Counties Bulk Haulage/Cartage and Bombay Gough Cat all sit below on 15 points.


In the Counties Power Game of the Week in the Under 85kg grade, Patumahoe Pak ‘N’ Save were too good for Bombay Lincoln Farms, coming away with a 52-14 victory on the hill.


Patumahoe got off to a great start, scoring within the opening five minutes. They got themselves a 10-0 lead before a lull in the middle of the first half, but Patumahoe scored two quick tries before the break. It was Bombay who struck first in the second spell, with their winger scoring a good runaway try. Patumahoe then scored a couple more tries and then they emptied their bench.


It was a great way to kick off the season for Patumahoe Pak ‘N’ Save Under 85kg coach Brad Healy.


“I’m really stoked, the boys played really, really well. It was still a tough game though and very physical. But I spoke to a few of the Bombay boys after the match and I think it was a bonus for us that we had some pre-season games, cause our match fitness was a bit better. We were able to open up the game when we needed to. We played well for about 60 minutes of the match, so we certainly have work ons.”


Patumahoe halfback Troy Michie was the A S Wilcox Player of the Day. He went home with a basket of vegetables from Wilcox and Healy said he had a blinder.


“He was outstanding. He just controls the back of the ruck so well and controls the speed of our game, which is great. He’s got plenty of experience and his passing is really precise, he always knows when to pass, kick and run.”


In other Under 85kg games, Karaka were too good for Onewhero 43-6 and Ardmore Marist Harcourt’s beat Waiuku 65-7.


In the Don Shuker Cup Premier Reserves competition, Ardmore Marist Harcourt’s came away with a 65-0 win over Onewhero. Patumahoe defeated Drury 38-12. Waiuku beat Te Kauwhata 32-15. It was a tight one between Bombay Pokeno Bacon and Pukekohe, who came away with a 17-all draw. Manurewa defeated Papakura Ray White 24-13 and Karaka were too good for Puni, 101-0.  


In the Massey Cup Under 21’s, Pukekohe defeated Bombay Roger Gill Agriculture 25-5, Karaka and Ardmore Marist Ross Roof Group had a great battle, with Karaka just sneaking in with a 13-12 victory and Patumahoe beat Waiuku 25-10.


And in the Bright Cup Under 20’s, Beachlands Maraetai kept Leamington scoreless with a 43-0 victory. 



A S Wilcox & Sons Limited Leaderboard after Round Four





Top Points Scorer



Desma Liaina (Karaka)


Luke Makris (Onewhero)



Vatiliai Turuva (Onewhero)


Riley Hohepa (Patumahoe)



Mathew Berry (Pukekohe)


George Edwards (Ardmore Marist)



Harley Jenkins (Patumahoe)


Joe Reynolds (Pukekohe)



Kalione Hala (Karaka)


Desma Liaina (Karaka)



Joshua Van Lieshout (Patumahoe)


Piers Francis (Bombay)



Luteru Laulala (Ardmore Marist)


Jordan Ah-chong (Manurewa)



Jonny Wilkinson (Patumahoe)


Kalione Hala (Karaka)



Joseph Ikenasio (Ardmore Marist)


Orbyn Leger (Karaka)



Gafatasi Su’a (Pukekohe)


Jonny Wilkinson (Patumahoe)




Information supplied by coaches and team sheets.


Photo Credit: Richard Spranger Photography