Bye af­ter dev­as­tat­ing loss

Auckland City Harbour News - - SPORT - By JU­LIAN RAETHEL

A bye week­end straight af­ter a loss can come as ei­ther bless­ing or a curse.

For Pon­sonby’s pre­mier men’s rugby team it’s a bit of both.

Af­ter go­ing down 18-16 to the Manukau Rovers in round two of the Auck­land Rugby premier­ship on April 18, Pon­sonby will sit out for the long week­end.

‘‘Af­ter a loss you pre­fer to play, to right the wrongs,’’ Pon­sonby as­sis­tant coach Mark Hooper says.

‘‘We were beaten by a side that wanted it more.’’

Pon­sonby make no ex­cuses for their loss at Wil­liams Park, how­ever it’s hard to go past the fact they were miss­ing seven front­line play­ers.

The bye week­end of­fers the chance to re­fresh any in­juries, in­clud­ing cap­tain Wil­liam Talataina-Mu who picked up a knee in­jury play­ing first-five eighth against Manukau.

He’s ex­pected to be side­lined for at least two weeks.

Eigh­teen-year-old util­ity Mor­ri­son Si­liko was thrown into the No 10 po­si­tion and held his own against the boys from the south.

‘‘They’re big boys and they gave it to us,’’ Hooper says.

‘‘We had our op­por­tu­ni­ties but just didn’t take them.’’

The scores were 15-13 at half­time with Manukau nar­rowly in front.

An­drew Boyle scored Pon­sonby’s sole try of the match.

Talataina-Mu slot­ted the con­ver­sion and then two penal­ties.

Both sides traded penal­ties in the sec­ond half but Manukau were able to hang on for the win.

Pon­sonby’s next match is against Marist at West­ern Springs Sta­dium on May 2, where both sides will hon­our the ser­vices of for­mer All Black and Pon­sonby stal­wart Brian Wil­liams.

Pho­tos: PHOTOTEK

Pon­sonby‘s Ty­rone Ngalu­afe tries to break the three-man tackle.

Waitem­ata Park Sub­urbs v Waitakere City, Shad­bolt Park Pa­p­a­toe­toe v Uni­ver­sity, Pa­p­a­toe­toe Sports Cen­tre Maun­garua v Paku­ranga, Ham­lin Park Pon­sonby, bye. Pon­sonby‘s Ty­rone Ngalu­afe pig­gy­backs tack­ler Laulea Fan­g­u­fangu.

Tau­tai Tele­foni of Manukau is chal­lenged by Pon­sonby‘s An­drew Boyle. All matches April 25 at 2.45pm. Col­lege Ri­fles v Marist, Col­lege Ri­fles No 1 field East Ta­maki v Gram­mar TEC, East Ta­maki No 1 field Eden v Manukau, Grib­ble­hirst Park Waitem­ata v Otahuhu,

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