Grammar Carlton take opportunities
Grammar Carlton coach Brandon Jackson isn’t surprised his side picked up their second win of the season against defending champs Ponsonby on Saturday.
Jackson says his players secured the 29-6 win because they scored when the opportunities presented themselves.
“It was an outstanding team performance.
“Ponsonby have been the form team for the past few years because they’ve made sure they’ve had the best players and good systems.
“We’ve put a team together that can compete, so why would you not back yourself to win.”
Both sides could only manage penalties in the first half, with Grammar edging ahead 9-6 at the break thanks to the boot of first five Lachie Munro.
But the home side dominated the second half in front of a large crowd at Cornwall Park.
They put on 20 unanswered points, with tries to Onosai Tololima-Auvaa and Tony Wood.
Jackson will now look to give other players a run in the top team after his side faced four of last year’s semifinalists in the first five rounds.
Depth will be essential to his squad in coming weeks because of the likelihood that he will lose several players to the Auckland Air New Zealand Cup side later in the season.
And he is sure competition for places will keep his side on track if players are selected for the Auckland side.
“If guys don’t perform then they won’t be picked.”
As a result of the win Grammar leap into a tie for first place on the table with Suburbs, while Ponsonby drops to fourth.
Ponsonby coach Simon Scott isn’t offering any excuses for his side’s loss.
“We were in it until the second half, but they simply outplayed us.
“We feel as though we were a bit more competitive than shown in the score, but we didn’t play as well as we did against University last week.”
Scott says the performance of some of Grammar’s Blues squad members provided the difference between the two sides.
“Munro controlled the game for them and TololimaAuvaa was prominent in the breakdown.”
However, Scott points out that there is still a long way to go this season, with the finals beginning at the end of July.
“We need to keep improving if we’re going to be in that race,” he says.
In other action Te PapapaMt Wellington beat Waitemata 24-20 after leading 245 at halftime.
And Eden-Roskill cracked the half century against bottom placed Manukau, defeating them 50-12.
Next week Ponsonby face Eden-Roskill at Western Springs, Te Papapa-Mt Wellington visit Waitakere City at Waitakere Stadium and Grammar Carlton take on Otahuhu at Sturges Park.
All matches start at 2.45pm.
What a shot: Grammar Carlton captain Lachie Munro slots a penalty for his side in front of a large crowd against Ponsonby on Saturday.
Pace to burn: Grammar Carlton wing Tony Wood scorches down the touch-line on his way to scoring the opening try against Ponsonby at Cornwall Park.