Ponsonby on path to shield
History is repeating itself in club rugby’s Gallaher Shield competition.
After defeating Waitemata 46-19 in last weekend’s semifinal, defending champions Ponsonby have booked themselves a place in the final against University at Eden Park on Saturday.
If successful, it will be Ponsonby’s sixth Gallaher Shield win in succession and its eighth in nine years.
Coach Simon Scott says a desire to attack saw them pile on the points against Waitemata.
“I guess we really wanted to start well and dominate from the word go.”
Ponsonby scored six tries to Waitemata’s three and were up 20-0 at halftime.
And Scott is hoping his side can repeat the performance in the final, despite a narrow 6-0 win against University in round-robin play.
But he says the wet and windy conditions played a large part in that result.
“I’m not sure how much you can take out of that game. The weather deteriorated so much it was a lottery,” Scott says.
“The final should be a freeflowing game of rugby.”
While they remain unbeaten this year, Scott says the management team has made it clear to the players that the record doesn’t mean much if they lose the final.
“All those games would count for nothing.”
Meanwhile teams knocked out of the running for the Gallaher Shield in recent weeks continue to play for other trophies.
Grammar Carlton narrowly defeated Teachers Eastern 25-23 for a spot in the Jubilee Trophy final, while Te Papapa – Mt Wel l i ng t on ove r c ame Eden – Roskill 28-15 for a place in the Presidents Cup final.
On Saturday Ponsonby face University at Eden Park in the Gallaher Shield final from 3pm.
Grammar Carlton clash with Marist for the Jubliee Trophy at Cornwall Park and Te Papapa – Mt Wellington and Manukau lock ho r n s for the Presidents Cup at Williams Park.
Both matches start at 2.45pm.