Con­sec­u­tive losses put Pi­rates on back foot

Auckland City Harbour News - - SPORT - By ALASTAIR LYNN

A late 18-point come­back wasn’t enough for Fox Me­mo­rial rugby league de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Pt Che­va­lier in round 11.

The gritty 24-18 loss came from a romp­ing top-of-thetable Pa­pakura Sea Ea­gles at Walker Park on June 27.

‘‘The other side out­played us and wanted it a lot more than our boys wanted it,’’ Pt Che­va­lier coach Grant Pock­ling­ton says.

‘‘We’ve been down some num­bers over the last cou­ple of weeks but that’s no ex­cuse,’’ he says.

The top-four con­tenders have strug­gled to main­tain the form which saw them steam­roll the com­pe­ti­tion early on this sea­son.

‘‘The boys are work­ing re­ally hard but some­thing is just miss­ing come game time.

‘‘We’ve got to find some­thing that trig­gers the switch.’’

Trail­ing 18-0 at half­time, the Pi­rates came alive in the last 15 min­utes of the game.

The switch this time proved to be a try from Karl Semiti which opened up the flood­gates to a flurry of a come­back.

‘‘It was just a lit­tle bit too late,’’ Pock­ling­ton says.

‘‘We had a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties but we just didn’t ex­e­cute well enough.’’

With fourth-place Marist Saints on the block for this week­end, Pock­ling­ton knows his side is in for a tough match.

‘‘We’ve just got to get back to driv­ing the ball and those ba­sic fun­da­men­tals,’’ he says.

The Pi­rates still have their eyes firmly set on a top-four fin­ish but know it won’t be an easy ride to the fi­nals.

‘‘Now we’ve just got to fo­cus on each game as it goes, get back and keep it sim­ple,’’ Pock­ling­ton says.

Dy­lan Moses throws a pass to a Pi­rates team-mate.


Pt Che­va­lier’s Ar­den McCarthy tries to break free of the Pa­pakura de­fence.

Pi­rates’ Saula Solomona spots a gap in the Sea Ea­gles’ line.

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