Pukekohe have scored a brilliant 31-26 victory over Karaka at Karaka Sports Complex to prove they more than capable of challenging for the McNamara Cup this season.
In a back-and-forth contest, Michael Porter’s side were just a little bit more clinical than Karaka.
Led by instrumental forward leaders Leo Ngatai-Talau and Kallum Adams, Pukekohe threw everything at the previously unbeaten Karaka outfit and scored a win that will give them real belief that they can beat any side in the competition.
“We knew it is always tough coming to Karaka. We talked about fronting and full credit to all of our boys – we fronted from 1-23,” Porter told Counties Sports Hub.
“Everyone put their hand up today.
“I thought our game drivers – our nines and 10s – were great today.”
Patumahoe got an almighty scare from Bombay in their clash at Patumahoe Domain – the 2022 McNamara Cup runners-up eventually easing to a 41-10 win.
But they trailed 10-3 at halftime and put the home side under plenty of pressure.
The score blew out in the final quarter of the match but coach Brad Healy knows his side had a stern test.
“Again full credit to Bombay, they came out to play and it was a great battle all over the park,” Healy said.
“We had three late changes on Friday due to sickness and injury, which was a good challenge for us. I was really proud how the boys adapted to that and just went out there and did their jobs.
“Looking forward to a huge challenge against Pukekohe this weekend.”
Manurewa grabbed a much-needed first win of the season as they beat Ardmore Marist 43-14 at Mountfort Park and moved into a spot in the top four as a result.
The defending champions just missed out against Karaka and Patumahoe earlier in the season and drew with Papakura a week ago.
But Jeremy Clark’s side never looked troubled back at home and completed a comfortable victory.
“Was a physical encounter and was prepared for that,” Clark said.
“We were solid in patches and did enough to get the win. Improvement was shown but we will need more as we prepare to the next game against Bombay on the hill.
“Thor Manase was solid all day and worked hard with Penitoa Finau in the back row.”
Karaka remained unbeaten in the Bob Chandler Premier Reserves with a 56-8 win over Pukekohe. Patumahoe kept pace with them as they claimed a 53-14 win over Bombay while Manurewa proved too strong for Ardmore Marist 47-10.
Weymouth had to work hard to overcome a valiant Manurewa side in the Sid Marshall Shield Championship, eventually triumphing 50-19 over their near neighbours at Mountfort Park.
Te Kohanga grabbed bragging rights in style over their neighbours Onewhero, picking up a fantastic 43-0 win at home.
Drury continue to top the standings thanks to a 24-12 win over Te Kauwhata at Te Kauwhata Domain while Waiuku edged Tuakau 23-15 in a very close battle at Tuakau.
The home side led for periods of the game, including with a little over 10 minutes to play, and were unlucky not to pick up a competition point for their efforts.
Defending champions Puni grabbed a 43-12 win over Maramarua at Puni Domain.
Drury, Weymouth and Te Kohanga hold the top three spots with Puni, Waiuku and Te Kauwhata all tied for fourth spot.
Pukekohe flexed their muscles in the Massey Cup U21 competition as they beat Patumahoe 27-19 at Colin Lawrie Fields to move to second in the standings.
Karaka remain at the top thanks to a 55-10 win on the road at Papakura.
Manurewa edged Ardmore Marist 17-12 in a close contest at Mountfort Park.
Karaka beat Waiuku 10-6 in a thrilling top-of-the-table clash in the U85kg competition at Karaka Sports Complex.
Patumahoe were too strong for the previously unbeaten Beachlands Maraetai – picking up a 36-3 win at Patumahoe.
Defending champs Onewhero got their first win of the season with a 20-0 victory over Ardmore Marist and Pukekohe enjoyed a comfortable 52-8 win over Drury.
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