Win­ners cry foul over tac­tics

Auckland City Harbour News - - Sport - By Scott Morgan

Gram­mar Carl­ton rugby coach Bran­don Jack­son is sick of dan­ger­ous shots to the head in Auck­land club rugby.

Jack­son’s com­ments come af­ter sev­eral Pa­p­a­toe­toe play­ers were sin-binned in his side’s 29-3 vic­tory over the south Auck­land side at Corn­wall Park on Satur­day.

“We had one guy who got punched in the jaw and fell to his knees,” he says.

“It’s just a mat­ter of time be­fore some­one gets se­ri­ously hurt.”

But Jack­son is con­cerned that swing­ing arms re­main a longterm blight on the game.

He says last sea­son a player was con­cussed so badly it af­fected his stud­ies for sev­eral weeks af­ter the in­ci­dent.

And his so­lu­tion is sim­ple.

“I’d rather see the red cards come out sooner rather than later.”

Jack­son says there’s still plenty of room for im­prove­ment af­ter his side’s per­for­mance against Pa­p­a­toe­toe.

“We’re pleased to win, but pretty frus­trated we didn’t fin­ish things off like we should have,” he says.

“We cre­ated heaps of chances but butchered about five or six op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Pa­p­a­toe­toe coach Monty Nanai says his team adopted a phys­i­cal approach in search of the ball, as well as build­ing on a strong de­fen­sive game.

Nanai says he has to ac­cept the ref­eree’s de­ci­sion to sin-bin three of his play­ers.

“To me it’s up to the call from the ref. No one can change the law.”

Sub­sti­tute loose for­wards Ir­win Finau and Blues’ player Ono­sai Tololima-Auva’a pro­vided some much needed spark for Gram­mar Carl­ton in the sec­ond half.

Both men dot­ted down to put the re­sult be­yond doubt.

Gram­mar re­main the only un­beaten side af­ter seven rounds of the com­pe­ti­tion, but Jack­son knows his side have to step up the in­ten­sity if it’s go­ing to stay that way.

“If we play like we’re ca­pa­ble of, I think we can do it, but we need to play bet­ter than the last two weeks.”

A 37-6 win by Pon­sonby over Col­lege Ri­fles at Ri­fles Park saw them move back into the top four with a bonus point, af­ter scor­ing six tries to one against the home side.

And Te Pa­papa-Mt Welling­ton broke the half cen­tury against Manukau 57-13 at Fer­gus­son Park, while Eden-Roskill were up­set 35-19 by Otahuhu at Fearon Park, giv­ing the vis­i­tors their first win of the sea­son.

This week Gram­mar Carl­ton take on Teach­ers East­ern at Orakei Do­main, Pon­sonby host Te Pa­papa-Mt Welling­ton at West­ern Springs and Eden-Roskill play away against Pa­p­a­toe­toe.

All matches start at 2.45pm.


Slip­ping through: Gram­mar Carl­ton full­back Jerome Ni­u­mata eludes Pa­p­a­toe­toe de­fend­ers Ge­orge Tu­peu, be­low, and Fe­tu­tasi Ma-Chong at Corn­wall Park on Satur­day.

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