Manurewa took a significant step towards a semi-final spot and defending their crown after beating Papakura 46-5 at Mountfort Park on Saturday.
The win, coupled with Bombay losing, sees Jeremy Clark’s side jump into fourth place on the standings.
It was the visitors that made the more promising start, and they scored the opening try of the game and dominated the opening 20 minutes.
But Manurewa burst to life in a devastating period leading into halftime, where they piled on four unanswered tries to take control.
“We had to weather the storm early but once we got into the game we started to dominate,” Clark said.
“We know we can be a dangerous side when we are able to get on a roll like we did.
“There are still a number of things I would like to see us improve on but that was a big step in the right direction.”
Patumahoe booked themselves a semi-final spot with a convincing 81-10 win over Ardmore Marist at Bruce Pulman Park.
Bottom-of-the-table Ardmore Marist opened the scoring with an early penalty, but it was all the visitors from there.
“Happy with the performance from the team,” Patumahoe coach Brad Healy said.
“Had a few boys back from injury that got good minutes.
No major injuries which is always good.
“Looking forward to next week’s challenge up on the hill.”
PIC Steelers number eight Sam Tuifua scored six tries in a phenomenal solo performance as Karaka secured a semi-final berth thanks to a 45-22 win over Bombay at Karaka Sports Complex.
Craig Hill’s side took control early and were never really threatened by a Bombay outfit that has dropped back-to-back games against leading sides.
They have the bye next week and will be eyeing a game against Manurewa in a fortnight that could well determine who makes the semi-finals and who misses out.
Karaka coach Hill was happy with the result but knows his side needs to tidy up a few things too if they want to challenge for the title.
“Pleased to get the five points, which puts us into the semis,” Hill said. “The intent was good from the boys just the accuracy was a little off.
“Sam Tuifua showed what he has got – six tries by an individual, with his running game was next level.”
In the Bob Chandler Cup Premier Reserves Patumahoe thumped Ardmore Marist 83-12 while Karaka kept pace with a 36-26 win over Bombay.
Manurewa picked up a win by default over Papakura to move into the top four.
Weymouth moved to within a point of top spot in the Sid Marshall Shield as they accounted for Maramarua 62-26 in the Counties Energy Game of the Week at Laurie Gibbons Reserve.
Defending champions Puni kept their spot in the top four with a comfortable 55-17 win over Patumahoe while Waiuku held onto fourth spot with a 57-15 win over Onewhero.
Te Kohanga had to work hard to overcome Manurewa 36-14 at Mountfort Park while Te Kauwhata stayed in the playoff battle with a 93-0 thrashing on the road at Tuakau.
Pukekohe secured a 29-12 win over Patumahoe in Massey Cup U21 action while Manurewa scored a 38-12 win over Ardmore Marist.
Papakura defaulted to Karaka.
In Under 85kg Cup play, defending champions Onewhero collected a crucial 16-14 win over Patumahoe in Patumahoe to hold a share of fourth place.
Pukekohe are tied with them after a 45-5 win over Drury.
Karaka took a big step towards the semi-finals with a 23-13 win over Beachlands Maraetai while top side Waiuku beat Ardmore Marist 32-13.
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