Marist takes it to Ponsonby
A 10-try spectacular saw rugby rivals Ponsonby and Marist going tit-for-tat in a classic battle that had the Mt Wellington visitors claim a 39-34 victory on Saturday.
Ponsonby coach Nico Nomani says he is frustrated with his team’s first half performance.
‘‘It was silly mistakes from us they really let them in.
‘‘We did work hard and I’m proud that we kept in it but we really need to work on how we play in the first half.’’
Both first five-eighths had the opportunity to open the scoring but instead traded missed penalty attempts early in the match.
It was 18-year-old Ponsonby winger Vince Aso who registered the first points with a classy try in the corner.
With the scores level at 17-all, Marist made things look all too easy taking the lead for the first time late in the half with some individual brilliance from New Zealand Under-20 fullback Leroy Van Dam.
Ponsonby kept attacking right to the halftime break and went close on two occasions only to be let down by poor handling.
They came out with a renewed vigour in the second spell when Murray Williams closed the gap on the scoreboard almost immediately with a penalty in the opening minute.
Captain Joe Royal, playing his last game for the club, stole the lead with a try under the posts, which Williams converted.
But Marist hit straight back through the boot of Somerset, narrowing the score to 27-25.
Marist 39 (L Fukofuka, T Timo, F Fili, L Van Dam, A Somerset tries, A Somerset 4 con, 2 pen)
Ponsonby 34 (T Koonwaiyou 2, V Aso, J Royal, W Ngaluafe tries, M Williams 3 con, pen) Halftime: 22-17
Go to aucklandcityharbour news.co.nz and click on Latest Edition for more photos of the match.
Classic battle: Ponsonby’s Roger Tuamoheloa in action at Western Springs against Marist.