Coach con­fi­dent de­spite loss

Auckland City Harbour News - - Sport - By Scott Morgan

Te Pa­papa-Mt Welling­ton club rugby coach Malika Li­u­tai is happy with where his team is at this point of the sea­son, de­spite los­ing out to Waitakere 22-13 on Satur­day.

“We’re a new team this sea­son so I didn’t know what to ex­pect,” he says.

“We’ve got a good for­ward pack but no stars.

“Some key de­ci­sions are what’s cost­ing us – there were a cou­ple of re­sults which could have gone our way.

Te Pa­papa and Mt Welling­ton were forced to merge last year by the Auck­land Rugby Union for this sea­son’s stream­lined 16 team pre­mier club rugby com­pe­ti­tion.

Li­u­tai says he is dis­ap­pointed his side let Waitakere score a try in the last minute of the game at Trusts Sta­dium, which cost them a bonus point.

Al­though the club has only recorded two wins so far, they are still in with a chance of climb­ing into a top eight fi­nals spot, which is de­cided later in the sea­son.

“We’re still on course for that be­cause we’ve played the ma­jor­ity of the hard teams,” Li­u­tai says.

“If we do smaller things, like win­ning games week in, week out, the big pic­ture will take care of it­self.”

Mean­while Pon­sonby man­aged to fend off Eden Roskill 25-21 at West­ern Springs af­ter a spir­ited per­for­mance from the vis­i­tors pushed the reign­ing champs to their limit.

Pon­sonby coach Si­mon Scott says he was im­pressed by Eden Roskill’s fit­ness, which saw them com­pete for the en­tire match.

But Scott is the first to ad­mit his side aren’t fir­ing on all cylin­ders at the mo­ment.

“Our li­ne­out and scrum are very good. But we’re giv­ing up too many points and mak­ing too many mis­takes.

“It’s pos­si­bly an is­sue of con­cen­tra­tion and hav­ing your head in the game.”

And Gram­mar Carl­ton main­tained their un­beaten run this sea­son, top­pling Otahuhu 41-10 at Sturges Park, which keeps them at the top of the ta­ble, while Pon­sonby drop to fifth.

Next week Gram­mar Carl­ton take on Pa­p­a­toe­toe at Corn­wall Park, Pon­sonby travel to Col­lege Ri­fles, Eden Roskill host Otahuhu at Fearon Park and Te Pa­pa­paMt Welling­ton play Manukau at Fer­gus­son Park.

All matches start at 2.45pm.


On the charge: Te Pa­papa No 8 Latu Moala pre­pares to put a fend on his op­po­site Toe Sae in his side’s loss to Waitakere City at Waitakere Sta­dium on Satur­day. Photo:

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