The Premiership Plate semi-final spots are well and truly up for grabs over the final three weeks of the round robin as well as home field advantage in both the Plate and Cup competitions.
Papakura Thirsty Liquor’s win over Weymouth at the weekend sees them jump back in front of Onewhero Summit Homes in the battle to join Pukekohe Mitre 10 Mega, Waiuku Land & Sea Civil and Bombay Super Freight in the final four.
“We knew in order to keep our season alive, we needed to not only win the scoreboard but get maximum points,” coach Kerry Petrie said. “To achieve this the detail and intensity around how we play needed to be better.
“The boys started well scoring two early tries. To their credit Weymouth never gave up; their physicality keeping our defence in check.”
Papakura has a bye this weekend before facing Waiuku at home at Massey Park and then a final week clash against Onewhero up the hill, that will likely decide who makes the semi-finals and who misses out.
Onewhero plays Bombay on the road this weekend before a bye and their showdown with Papakura.
“We now go into the bye week knowing our result has left us fully in control of our own destiny and not in a position of being reliant on other results to progress our season forward,” Petrie said.
Pukekohe earned an impressive draw against Manurewa at Colin Lawrie Fields but Patumahoe’s two bonus points against Karaka means the top four in the McNamara Cup is now set with Karaka, Ardmore Marist, Manurewa and Patumahoe to fight off for the regions top club rugby prize.
Pukekohe will finish their last two games in round two before playing off for the Premiership Plate alongside the three leading sides from that side of the draw.
Pukekohe will host the third ranked side from the Plate in the semi-finals.
Waiuku and Bombay are guaranteed to finish in the top two spots and will play each other in the semi-finals but whoever gets their noses in front will have home field advantage.
The two sides will play each other in the final week showdown that is likely to determine where the semi-final will be played.
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