Pon­sonby on path to shield

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Scott Mor­gan

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.

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