Old hands make a big the dif­fer­ence in key league game

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Scott Morgan

Ex­pe­ri­ence was the key for Mt Al­bert af­ter they de­feated pre­vi­ously un­beaten Otahuhu 54-4 in the Fox pre­lim­i­nary league se­ries on Satur­day.

Mt Al­bert coach Brent Gem­mell says many of his play­ers are bat­tle-hard­ened af­ter sev­eral years play­ing in the now de­funct Barter­card Cup com­pe­ti­tion.

And none were more valu­able to the club at Bert Hen­ham Park than for­mer New Zealand A stand­off Steve Buck­ing­ham, who has had sev­eral weeks off due to his re­cent mar­riage.

“Steve’s got a long his­tory with league in New Zealand,” Gem­mell says.

“He con­trolled the game beau­ti­fully for us.”

Mt Al­bert led 18-0 at half­time. Gem­mell says things re­ally opened up in the sec­ond half.

“Otahuhu de­fended a lot, which put them un­der a lot of pres­sure and they wilted in the last 20 min­utes.

“It was quite eas­ily our best per­for­mance of the year.”

Mean­while, Marist con­tin­ued their surge up the lad­der with a com­pre­hen­sive 58-0 vic­tory over Rich­mond at Grey Lynn Park.

And Pon­sonby picked up their first win of the sea­son, de­feat­ing Paku­ranga 46-10 at Vic­to­ria Park.

Un­for­tu­nately for Bay Roskill, they suf­fered an­other heavy de­feat, los­ing out to Glenora 76-16 at Block­house Bay.

This Satur­day Mt Al­bert host Pa­pakura at Fowlds Park, Rich­mond take on Pon­sonby at Grey Lynn Park, Bay Roskill face Ma­nurewa at Le­a­bank Park and Marist play Te Atatu at Murray Hal­berg Park.

All matches start at 2.30pm.

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