Sun, 02 Apr 2017
Ardmore Marist South Auckland Motors has proven its championship quality with a superb 29-3 win over Pukekohe Mitre 10 at Bruce Pulman Park.
The unbeaten and top-of-the-table outfit accounted for one of the competition heavyweights in convincing fashion on Saturday to remove any doubt about their form on account of a friendly early draw.
Coach Saua Leaupepetele rated the win no better than previous weeks however. “We definitely knew it was going to be our toughest game and I think the prep leading up to it was the key,” he said.
“We got things right there and it paid off.
“Just like all the other games – there were patches where we did really well. Defensively it was probably our best game but from an attacking perspective we were probably guilty of not putting more points on when the pressure was there.”
Leaupepetele isn’t getting ahead of himself however – while his side might be on the top of the table they face a stern test against Bombay at Bombay next week.
“Every week is a different picture for us – we are not looking at the points table. We just take it week by week and this week will be a big challenge.
“The competition is like a roller coaster ride – teams are up and down. We have been a little more consistent that is all.”
Bombay Gough Cat recorded their second straight win with a 29-24 win over Manurewa Kidd Contracting at Mountford Park but they had to rely on a huge second half to keep the Counties Power Cup.
With a couple of players moving from the defending champions to Manurewa during the off-season the game was expected to be a bit of a dogfight and it lived up to its billing with the home side racing out to 24-10 halftime lead. Former Bombay halfback David Poasa Osofua bagged a first half hat-trick.
But Jeff Marr’s side battled back in the second spell to blank Manurewa and take a narrow win. “Second half we were good. First half we were pretty poor by our standards,” Marr said. “We knew what we had to do it was just execution of it.
“In saying that Manurewa played an outstanding first half – they came out of the blocks and just took it to us.
“In the second half we addressed it and we came out and followed the game plan so it was a great test of character for the team really.”
Patumahoe Hotel got back to winning ways but they had to work extremely hard to get by an improving Te Kauwhata EnviroWaste outfit at Patumahoe Domain.
The home side was plagued by handling errors all afternoon and it cost them badly when one of them gifted seven points to Te Kauwhata with 10 minutes to play. It brought the visitors within a try of winning the match but Patumahoe held their nerve and scored a couple of late tries to blow the score out to a flattering 40-25.
Assistant coach and former All Blacks Sevens rep Josh van Lieshout admitted his side didn’t play particularly well but he was philosophical about the win.
“We are always happy to take the win and to take five points but more so for us it is a big attitude thing,” he said.
“You never take anyone lightly and I’m not saying we did but it starts from when everyone arrives and I don’t think our attitude was there from the start.
“I thought overall though once we brought guys off the bench – guys that had been playing down in reserves and coming up and down – they came on and played really well so it is nice to know we have that depth if we need it to get our game back on track.”
Van Lieshout paid tribute to Te Kauwhata, who deserved to take more out of the game and continue to show improvement.
“Yea it’s good to see. Every team we play - and we plated Papakura at the start – every team is improving and it is just making the Counties Manukau comp just so much stronger.”
Karaka had little trouble in extending their win-streak to three matches with a 38-15 victory over Onewhero Bulk Haulage at Karaka Sports Complex.
The home side ran in five tries to three in the win. Coach Craig Hill thought the performance was far from their best but was pleased to bank another win.
“I think the good thing for us is that we are winning but we still have a lot to work on,” Hill said. “It was an improvement on last week but not as good as the performance against Bombay. We need to be a bit more patient at times in trying to push the pass and we made a few errors there.
“We managed to capitalise on their errors. “The scrums were pretty even and certainly in the second half they brought their line-out drive into the game.”
Waiuku Brian James Contracting produced their best performance of the season in dismantling Papakura Ray White 34-7 at Rugby Park in Waiuku.
The home side dominated most facets of the game which pleased coach Alex Leger. It took Waiuku a little while to capitalist on their early dominance but took a 12-0 lead at the break. “In the second half Papakura were down to 14 men, which helped,” Leger said.
“Spells from general play showed that Papakura were there to score.” Jack Hardie scored 14 points in his blazer game for the club.
The points table sees Ardmore Marist as the only unbeaten side after four rounds while Karaka, Bombay and Patumahoe round out the top four.
Bombay Pokeno Bacon won the Counties Power Game of the Week in their Premier 2 clash with Manurewa. The two sides have been great rivals over the past few seasons and the visitors came out on top in another close battle.
Nofoaki Folau Kalileo was named AS Wilcox and Sons Ltd Player of the Day in what was described as an epic game.
McNamara Cup (Premier 1)
Manurewa Kidd Contracting 24
(David Poasa Osofua 3, Matthew Vaai tries; Bradford Lemalufaitoaga 2 cons)
Bombay Gough Cat (Counties Power Cup Holders - Bombay Gough Cat) 29
(Ki Anufe, Sepuloni Taufa 2, Kalolo Tuiloma, Johnathan Kawau tries; Ki Anufe 2 cons)
Ardmore Marist South Auckland Motors 29
(Katetistoti Nginingini, Vini Iosua, Sione Tuipulotu, Chris Cunningham tries; Solomona Paraki 3 cons; Solomona Paraki pens)
Pukekohe Mitre 10 Mega 3
(Joe Reynolds pens)
(Walter Fifita, John Luteru, Conall Bromwich, Junior Fakatoufifita, Nicholas Worthington tries; Orbyn Leger 2 cons; Orbyn Leger 2, Desma Liaina pens)
Onewhero Counties Bulk Haulage 15
(Phillippe Cirikiwai, Romero Tagi, Luke Markris tries; cons; pens)
Patumahoe Hotel 40
(Harley Jenkins, Blair Buckland, Richard Taupaki, Josh Snell, Jone Cama, Peter Vea tries; Harley Jenkins 3, Jonny Wilkinson 2 cons)
Te Kauwhata Enviro Waste 25
(Vilitati Sabani 2 tries; Vilitati Sabani 5 pens)
Waiuku Brian James Contracting 34
(Nathan Millar 2, Aaron Yuill, Tevita Nabura,Jack Hardie tries; Jack Hardie 3 cons; Jack Hardie pens)
Papakura Ray White 7
(Shirley tries; Lisona Tagaloa cons)
Bob Chandler Memorial (Premier 2)
Manurewa 12 Bombay Pokeno Bacon 15; Ardmore Marist Ross Roofing 40 Pukekohe 25; Karaka 53 Onewhero 14; Patumahoe 89 Te Kauwhata 0; Waiuku 41 Papakura 27.
Sid Marshall Shield (Premier 3)
Manurewa 20 Te Kohanga 20; Maramaru 26 Puni 17.
Massey Cup (U21)
Bombay 17 Ardmore Marist Ross Roofing 26; Patumahoe 69 Waiuku 0; Manurewa 15 Pukekohe 29.
Drury 15 Onewhero 0; Bombay Lincoln Farms 21 Waiuku 13; Patumahoe 6 Ardmore Marist 12.