Sun, 02 Jul 2017
Pukekohe Mitre 10 Mega produced the biggest result in a weekend of upsets as they knocked over competition leaders Bombay Gough Cat and kept alive their semifinal hopes with one weekend to go.
The Waka Setitaia-coached side ground out a 16-14 win over the three-time defending champions at Colin Lawrie Field and then turned their attention to other results to see if they had a shot at pipping Ardmore Marist for the final playoff spot.
They got good news.
Pukekohe has arguably been the form side of the second round, stringing together six straight wins and an unlikely semifinal spot is now with their reach.
“You can just see looking around the changing room there is a lot of belief among the boys,” assistant coach Mark Price said.
“The penny has dropped for many of them and they realise the potential they can get to, which is pleasing.”
Price admitted the game could have gone either way but he was particularly happy with this forwards, who really stood up against a Bombay side that has been the benchmark all season.
“It was a pretty physical battle as it always is with Bombay,” Price said
“I put a lot of heat on our forwards during the week to step up and they did. Set piece we struggled a little bit but everywhere else around the paddock we were pretty good.”
Onewhero Counties Bulk Haulage did Pukekohe the favour they needed by beating Ardmore Marist South Auckland Motors while continuing their own strong end to the season.
The visitors out-scored Ardmore Marist five tries to two in a convincing 35-13 win that leaves last year’s finalists vulnerable heading into the final match of the round robin.
“It was definitely a good win for us – I don’t know if it was our best rugby as such,” Onewhero coach Adam Cathcart said.
“We just put things together that we have practiced all year really – everything we have talked about during the second round and it came to fruition in that one game.
“All the points were scored into the wind. I think we just adapted to conditions a bit better than they did. “They dropped quite a bit of ball to be fair – I don’t know if that was from our defense or not.
“There is no pressure on us anymore so that allowed the boys to play with a bit more freedom and express themselves a bit better as well.”
The result sets up an exciting final weekend with one last semifinal spot and home field advantage up for grabs.
Pukekohe needs to beat Onewhero to sneak into the semifinals and will obviously be highly motivated but Cathcart said his side will be up for the challenge as well.
“We just want to build on this week and continue this and take four wins in a row into next year.”
Papakura Ray White snared their first win of the season with an impressive 31-18 win over Te Kauwhata EnviroWaste in the Counties Power Game of the Week at Massey Park.
It was the club’s first premier 1 win in over a year and is just reward for the hard work and improvements that have been made at the club over the past couple of seasons.
While it didn’t appear close on the scoreboard coach Gavin Giles said it was a tough battle.
“It wasn’t that comfortable. We were down 15-14 at halftime,” he said.
“We had the wind behind us early and probably didn’t use it as well as we should have.
“The guys showed some composure after halftime and we looked better running with the ball in hand anyway.
“We made some better decisions in the second half and it was a great team effort.”
Nigel Beaver was named the AS Wilcox and Sons Ltd Player of the Day and took home the vegetable package as a result.
Giles is pleased that the win will give the side some encouragement heading into the off-season.
“It definitely goes a long way. We have been close a couple of times against the bigger sides.”
Waiuku Brian James Contracting prevented Patumahoe Hotel from locking in a home semifinal as they upset their neighbours with a 13-7 win at Rugby Park, Waiuku.
“It was one of our best performances right to the last minute,” coach Alex Leger said.
“Each of the players showed the home crowd that we are still competitive.
“It was a great way to play the last home game of the year.”
Patumahoe were left frustrated with their own performance and now face a must-win game against Ardmore Marist at Bruce Pulman Park next week if they want to host a semifinal.
The result also means Waiuku takes the Vern Hair Memorial Trophy through the summer.
Karaka were the only favourites to collect a win over the weekend as they beat Manurewa Kidd Contracting 31-5 to secure third place and give themselves a shot of over-hauling Patumahoe for a home semifinal in the final match of the regular season.
Coach Craig Hill was pleased with his side’s performance.
“Especially the first half,” he said. “We were up 19-0 at halftime into that wind. I thought the guys played pretty well considering the conditions.
“Just the speed of our game I think really caught them out and had them scrambling on defense.”
Karaka can leap-frog Patumahoe into second place should they beat Papakura next week and Patumahoe fall to Ardmore Marist. Either way it is likely the two sides will meet in the semifinals it just remains to be seen whether that game would be played at Patumahoe or Karaka.
“I think it is [a big deal], Hill said. “It is good for our club – home ground, familiar conditions so I do think it is a bit of a points advantage so that would be good.”The Papakura premier 2 side made it a double for the club as they beat Te Kauwhata while Pukekohe, Patumahoe Hutton Builders, Karaka and Ardmore Marist Ross Roof Group also collected wins.
Pukekohe, Manurewa, Patumahoe and Ardmore Marist are separated by just five points with two of the four sides joining Karaka and Bombay Pokeno Bacon in the semifinals.
Patumahoe Albycon Ltd, Pukekohe and Papakura had wins in Under 21 action while Waiuku, Ardmore Marist and Patumahoe had victories in the Under 85kg competition.
McNamara Cup (Premier 1)
Pukekohe Mitre 10 Mega (Counties Power Cup Holders) 16
(Joe Reynolds tries; Joe Reynolds cons; Joe Reynolds pens)
Bombay Gough Cat 14
(Tulolo Tulolo tries; Ki Anufe 3 pens)
Papakura Ray White 31
(Simione Tukuafu, Jordan Spiers, Joshua Hefa 2 tries; Faalae Peni 4 cons; Faalae Peni pens)
Te Kauwhata EnviroWaste 18
Manurewa Kidd Contracting 5
(Lima Vea tries)
(Sunia Vosikata, Desma Liaina, Lepetimalo Lauese, Baden Kerr, Walter Fifita tries; Scott Allison 3 cons)
Waiuku Brian James Contracting 13
(Nathan Millar tries; Christian Walker cons; Christian Walker 2pens)
Patumahoe Hotel 7
(Jonny Wilkinson tries; Jonny Wilkinson cons)
Ardmore Marist South Auckland Motors 13
(Katetistoti Nginingini, Feta Luamanu tries; Kirisome Laulala pens)
Onewhero Counties Bulk Haulage 35
(Luke Makris, Sam Shuker, Nicholas Perez, Steven Jones, Sean Bagshaw tries; Luke Makris 5 cons)
Bob Chandler Memorial (Premier 2)
Pukekohe 25 Bombay Pokeno Bacon 10; Papakura 36 Te Kauwhata 19; Ardmore Marist Ross Roof Group 48 Onewhero 0; Manurewa 12 Karaka 28; Waiuku 13 Patumahoe Hutton Builders 29
Massey Cup (U21)
Karaka 0 Patumahoe Albycon Ltd 10; Pukekohe 13 Bombay 12; Papakura 17 Manurewa 10
Bombay Lincoln Farms defaulted to Patumahoe Pak N Save; Waiuku 10 Onewhero 0; Ardmore Marist 21 Karaka 17
Women’s: Marist 5 Ardmore Marist 37
Rainbows End Counties Manukau & Waikato 1st XV (Premier)
James Cook HS 5 Pukekohe HS 5
Manurewa HS 25 St Johns College 23 – (Deon Muir Trophy holders – Manurewa HS)
Rosehill College 16 Alfriston College 15
Te Awamutu College 31 Cambridge HS 23
CNI – 1st XV Fielding HS 16 v 1st XV Wesley College 13