Pon­sonby off pace but play­off in reach

Auckland City Harbour News - - SPORT - By JU­LIAN RAETHEL

They’re off the pace, but not out just yet.

Pon­sonby’s premier rugby side will need to ‘‘look them­selves in the mir­ror’’ this week af­ter two con­sec­u­tive losses, as­sis­tant coach Mark Hooper says.

Their 46-24 de­feat to Waitem­ata in round three of the Alan McEvoy Premier­ship was es­pe­cially painful for the coaches, with Pon­sonby un­able to register any points in the sec­ond half. ‘‘I don’t know what hap­pened, we switched off a bit. I can’t put my fin­ger on it.’’ Hooper says.

At Western Springs, it was Waitem­ata who went to the break with a five-point lead at 29-24.

Reiko Ioane scored two tries with Pryor Col­lier also grab­bing his own five-pointer for the hosts.

How­ever, Pon­sonby crum­bled in the sec­ond half and had no an­swers to wave af­ter wave of Waitem­ata at­tack.

The visi­tors scored 17 unan­swered points af­ter half­time to bag max­i­mum points from the fix­ture.

That loss has con­tin­ued a hor­ror fort­night for Pon­sonby, who have only one win from their last three matches.

The good news is the squad’s fully fit and only four points off a play­off spot. But only four matches re­main to get things click­ing again. ‘‘We’ve got the guys to do the job,’’ Hooper says. ‘‘It’s just one of those things you want to write off.’’

Photos: PHO­TOTEK

Pon­sonby’s An­dew Boyle takes off with Waitem­ata’s Jared Klaver in chase.

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