Final promises to be close clash
Grammar Carlton and Ponsonby clash in a local rugby derby tomorrow in the final of the inaugural Waka Nathan Cup.
It’s the first time the preseason tournament has run in the revamped single-division competition.
But it’s tough to predict who will take out the first major title of the season, with last year’s club champions Ponsonby scraping through to the final with a 12-12 draw against Waitakere last weekend.
They qualified by scoring the first try of the match.
Ponsonby coach Simon Scott says his team didn’t play well against Waitakere.
But he is confident they can come out on top in the final.
“We’re going in to win,” he says.
However, Scott is wary of Grammar Carlton who beat Waitemata 53-5 in the other semifinal.
“They’re a well coached team and they’ve got some good ball runners,” he says.
Grammar Carlton coach Brandon Jackson says the match will be an “arm wrestle” but admits the tussle has a different feel to it compared with a normal competition game.
“We view this competition as more about getting the squad in tune,” he says.
“On the other hand it is a final and we want to win it.
“We don’t take anything with Waka Nathan’s name attached to it lightly.”
In other action Eden Roskill lost 14-8 to Papatoetoe in the semifinal of the Pollard Cup last Satuday.
The game saw losers from the first round of the Waka Nathan Cup take on one another in a secondary competition.
Meanwhile, Avondale and New Lynn-based Suburbs thumped Manukau 76-13 for the other place in the Pollard Cup final.
Ponsonby will take on Grammar Carlton in the final of the Waka Nathan Cup at Cox’s Bay Reserve on Saturday, while Suburbs play Papatoetoe in the Pollard Cup final at Kingswood Reserve.
Both games start at 2.45pm.