Patumahoe Troydon Patumahoe Hotel scored well after 80 minutes had ticked over to bag a vital 18-15 win over Karaka in the Counties Power Game of the Week.
The home side never led the match until the final play when they scored on the back of a sustained period of attack as Karaka fought hard to hold them out.
Eventually the weight of possession took its toll and a try that all but guarantees Patumahoe of a semifinal spot was scored.
“I was obviously willing them on from the other end of the field but I have a lot of belief in this team and these boys have a lot of belief in themselves and that is what we have done – encourage the boys to make decisions for themselves out on the field,” coach Reon Graham explained.
“It is something we put a lot of emphasis on – doing everything to the max and playing through the line if you will.”
The match was played in good spirits between the neighbouring clubs and featured a playoff atmosphere and intensity throughout.
Broc Hooper controlled the Patumahoe attack well from first-five while Tamati Fromm, Willie Furniss and the Royal brothers were involved in everything.
Manurewa Kidd Contracting secured a bonus point 58-19 win over Onewhero Silver Fern Marquees to join Patumahoe in a share of second on the McNamara Cup standings.
“Last week we had the bye so we kind of knew we would be a bit rusty,” Manurewa coach Jeremy Clark said.
“We had to be really on our game to get five points and to give ourselves the best shot at a home semifinal.
The home side ran in 10 tries in total in the victory including a hat-trick to winger Willie Tuala and doubles to Joshua Tafili and Pisi Leilua. The trio tops the AS Wilcox Leaderboard – Tuala has a stunning 19 tries on the season while Tafili (17) and Leilua (10) are not far behind.
“I think they (the outside backs) are there and getting final touches and putting themselves in a position to score tries but the team is helping provide those chances,” Clark explained.
“The forward pack has been laying the platform for the backs to take advantage.
“It is hard to single guys out as individuals.”
Manurewa meets Patumahoe next week at Mountfort Park in a battle between the second and third ranked sides with a home semifinal very much up for grabs.
Four-time defending champions Bombay did their part to keep a hold of a semifinal spot with a 36-17 win over Papakura Ray White at Massey Park.
They scored six tries in the win to crucially grab a bonus point in what is starting to look like a head-to-head race with Karaka for a semifinal spot.
“They took it to us and played really well,” Bombay coach Jeff Marr said. “It was a good competitive game and we took it as an opportunity to rotate our squad a little bit and we got a fair bit out of it.
“I think Papakura have improved considerably over the past couple of years and are not easy-beats now.”
Results went Bombay’s way over the weekend with Karaka losing to Patumahoe and Pukekohe falling to Waiuku. It means that they can probably win their last two games and make the semifinals.
“We are in that position now,” Marr admitted. “Those results probably did help us but Karaka has three more games and we only have two. Puke has got two and one of them is against us.
“If we want to take our place in the top four we want to win these last two games and not limp into the semifinals.”
Waiuku Brian James Contracting secured a big win at home over Pukekohe Mitre 10 Mega to all but end the latter’s semifinal chances.
There was little between the two sides at the break with the game locked up at 8-8 but Waiuku took their opportunities in the second half and recorded a narrow victory.
The Waiuku Premier 2 side tipped over top-of-the-table Pukekohe Franklin Long Roofing 17-10 in the performance of the round in Bob Chandler action. That loss sees the competition close up behind Pukekohe on the ladder. Patumahoe Dave Redshaw Electrical produced a superb performance as they beat Karaka 31-21 to move into third position on the standings. Manurewa Wise Property Management thrashed Onewhero Hinemoa Produce 66-0 to cement their position in the top four while Papakura Ray White proved too strong for Bombay 20-3 in their clash.
Drury enjoyed a 43-21 win over Maramarua in Premier 3 play while Te Kauwhata kept their top two aspirations alive with a 52-15 win over Puni.
Karaka took a vital 24-23 win over Pukekohe in an enthralling Massey Cup Under 21 match at Karaka Sports Complex that takes Karaka to within three points of the competition lead in third. It also sees Pukekohe’s advantage fall to a solitary point. Patumahoe Albycon Ltd holds second place thanks to a 46-0 win over Papakura Ray White.
Waiuku snuck a narrow 17-15 win over Bombay Lincoln Farms in Under 85kg action. Karaka held out Pukekohe 19-12 in a match that had playoff implications while top-of-the-table Patumahoe Pak N Save routed Papakura Ray White 37-10. It means that Papakura, Karaka and Pukekohe will fight out semifinal order behind Patumahoe over the last couple of weeks.
McNamara Cup (Premier 1)
Manurewa Kidd Contracting 58
(Joshua Tafili 2, Willie Tuala 3, Pisi Leilua 2, Taimo Matau, Lachlan Collier, Penitoa Finau tries; Timothy Taefu 3, Joshua Tafili cons)
Onewhero Silver Fern Marquees 19
(Sean Bagshaw 2, Teina Nahi tries; Rhain Strang 2 cons)
Papakura Ray White 17
(Kris Smithson 2, Taafaga Tagaloa tries; Monty Punatai cons)
(Jordan Goldsmith, Haamiora Clarke 2, Patrick Masoe, Mitchell Thackham, Chay Mackwood tries; Jordan Goldsmith 2, Ki Anufe cons)
Patumahoe Troydon Patumahoe Hotel 18
(Broc Hooper, Richard Taupaki, Mark Royal tries; Broc Hooper pens)
(Kalione Hala, Scott Uren tries; Matthewr Hill cons; Kalione Hala pens)
Waiuku Brian James Contracting 18
(Daniel Kitson, Michael Mckee tries; Daniel Hyatt cons; Daniel Kitson, Christian Walker pens)
Pukekohe Mitre 10 Mega 14
(Peni Buakula tries; Cody White 2, Jamie King pens)
Bob Chandler Memorial (Premier 2)
Manurewa Wise Property Management 66 Onewhero Hinemoa Produce 0; Papakura Ray White 20 Bombay 3; Patumahoe Dave Redshaw Electrical 31 Karaka 21; Waiuku 17 Pukekohe Franklin Long Roofing 10
Sid Marshall Shield (Premier 3)
Drury 43 Maramarua 21; Weymouth won by default; Puni 15 Te Kauwhata 52
Massey Cup (U21)
Karaka 24 Pukekohe 23; Papakura Ray White 0 Patumahoe Albycon Ltd 46
Under 85kg: Bombay Lincoln Farms 15 Waiuku 17; Karaka 19 Pukekohe 12; Papakura Ray White 10 Patumahoe Pak N Save 37
Women’s: Manurewa 17 ECB 22; Papakura 37 University 20; Papatoetoe 29 Waiuku 40
First Grade: Manurewa 38 College Rifles 23
1st XV (Premier): Rosehill College 7 Manurewa HS 45; Pukekohe HS 32 Alfriston College 13; Waiuku College 17 Papakura HS 15