Hard-nosed attitude starts to pay off for Ponsonby
Ponsonby are within striking distance of top-of-the table Grammar Carlton in Auckland’s premier club rugby competition after two bonus point wins in recent weeks.
This includes a 37-7 victory against College Rifles two weeks ago and a highscoring match against Te Papapa-Mt Wellington on Saturday, which saw them come out on top 53-19 at Western Springs.
A bonus point is awarded to a team when they score four tries or more in a match.
Ponsonby coach Simon Scott says the work his side have put in at training is starting to pay off.
“Things really clicked in the first half against Te Papapa and we got a good roll on.”
Scott also credits the return of Jay Williams from the Chiefs Super 14 franchise for having an “awesome” effect on the team, while Blues centre Benson Stanley is set to return to the field next week.
“He’s playing outstanding rugby and his hard-nosed attitude rubs off on the team.”
And while Grammar Carlton remain unbeaten after eight rounds, their failure to secure bonus points in the last couple of games has seen their competition lead reduced to one point.
Grammar Carlton coach Brandon Jackson isn’t surprised his side couldn’t get the extra point in their 15-0 win over Teachers Eastern on Saturday after a large rain cloud parked itself over Orakei Domain.
“I could see blue sky around but it absolutely hosed down,” he says.
“We soon realised once the game started that it was unlikely to happen given the conditions.”
But Jackson says missing out on a bonus point against Papatoetoe two weeks ago could come back to haunt them later in the season, after they only scored two tries in their 29-3 win.
Meanwhile, Eden-Roskill, who sit on the lower half of the table, just lost out to Papatoetoe 24-18 at Kingswood Reserve.
Tomorrow, Ponsonby take on Pakuranga at Bell Park, Te Papapa-Mt Wellington meet Otahuhu at Hamlin Park, Eden-Roskill face Teachers Eastern at Gribblehirst Park and Grammar Carlton battle it out with University at Cornwall Park.
All matches start at 2.45pm.