Coach confident despite loss
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: