Hard-nosed at­ti­tude starts to pay off for Pon­sonby

Auckland City Harbour News - - Sport - By Scott Morgan

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.

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