Pukekohe secure semi-final spot

Pukekohe secure semi-final spot

Pukekohe are the first side to secure a semi-final berth in the McNamara Cup after they completed a 44-7 demolition of Bombay on Saturday.

Having battled out a tight draw against Bombay in the first round – the only game Pukekohe has not won this season – another torrid battle was expected.

But the visitors seized control early and had three tries on the board in the opening 20 minutes.

Playing with a strong wind at their backs, Pukekohe controlled territory and possession and were able to hold Bombay out on the odd occasion they found themselves in Pukekohe territory.

“Pretty happy with how the boys fronted on Saturday,” coach Michael Porter told Counties Sports Hub.

“I thought our forwards really stepped up this week against a big Bombay pack.

“We were able to be patient with the ball in hand and finish off our opportunities.”

Patumahoe moved to the brink of a semi-final berth themselves as they accounted for Papakura 43-10 at Massey Park to maintain second place on the ladder.

The opening exchanges proved tight but Patumahoe gained the ascendancy through the first half and had the game under control by halftime.

“Good to get the win against a tough Papakura team,” coach Brad Healy said. “We take the five points and move onto Ardy at home.”

Karaka picked up their second win in as many weeks as they hammered Ardmore Marist 90-14 at Bruce Pulman Park.

The visitors raced out of the blocks and looked ready to post a cricket score having got to 59-0 at halftime but to Ardmore Marist’s credit they showed some fight and willingness to compete even with the result out of reach.

“Pleased with our first half,” Karaka coach Craig Hill said. “The boys showed plenty of variety on attack and some excellent support play.

“Second half was a mixed bag – we had a number of penalties against us, which stopped the momentum.”

Pukekohe roared home in the final minutes to snatch a crucial 31-27 victory over Bombay in the Bob Chandler Cup Premier Reserves competition.

The match proved an epic Counties Energy Game of the Week and the crowd that braved the wet and windy conditions were thoroughly entertained.

The result lifts third-placed Pukekohe eight points clear of Bombay in fourth with Manurewa a further three points adrift.

Patumahoe enjoyed a 43-7 win over Papakura while Karaka beat Ardmore Marist 54-14.

Beachlands Maraetai kept their semi-final hopes alive in the U85kg grade as they thumped Drury 38-0 at Te Puru Park.

Patumahoe scored an impressive 24-15 road win against defending champions Onewhero while Waiuku maintained top spot with a 25-15 victory over Pukekohe.

Karaka cruised to a 30-8 win over Ardmore Marist.

Waiuku are four points clear atop the standings with Patumahoe in second, Karaka two points back in third.

Just two competition points separates Onewhero (16), Beachlands Maraetai (15), Pukekohe (15) and Ardmore Marist (14) in the battle for fourth.