Pt Chev trump undefeated Mt Albert
The Pt Chevalier Pirates have won an intense encounter with top-of-the-table challengers Mt Albert, securing a 24-18 victory on Saturday to remain undefeated in the Fox Memorial competition.
Both the Lions and Pirates went into Saturday’s clash with unblemished records in Auckland Rugby League’s premier competition.
The Pirates came out on top and managed to keep the Roope Rooster trophy - rugby league’s equivalent of the Ranfurly Shield - in their cabinet for at least another two rounds.
Pt Chevalier coach Zane Pocklington said the win was pleasing, and he was happy his side put in an 80 minute performance - something they hadn’t done so far this season.
‘‘If I’m being honest, I was sweating right up until the hooter,’’ Pocklington said.
‘‘But we probably put our best game froward in terms of a full package. In terms of effort, I was quite impressed at the boys ability to tie in for the full 80.’’
However, the win has come at a cost, with star forward Arden McCarthy carted off just seven minutes into the match with a suspected ACL injury.
The 26-year-old gained notor- iety by making the Samoan squad for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, straight out of the Fox Memorial. While his injury appears serious, and could rule him out for the season, Pocklington is hoping the initial assessment is proven wrong.
Meanwhile, Mt Albert co-coach Phil Gordon remained upbeat despite the loss.
‘‘We were disappointed not to get the result, but what we learnt from it was very productive,’’ Gordon said.
‘‘When you drop games you want to be dropping them at this time of the year, and you want to be learning. As long as you learn from losses, you’ll keep getting better.’’
Gordon praised his side for sticking with the game despite being behind for most of the second half.
For Pocklington, while the win moves them further ahead at the top of the Fox Memorial standings, he said his side knows it means little at this stage in the season.
‘‘You don’t win a competition by week five,’’ he said. ‘‘We’re not as fit as we need to be and we’re still wanting to improve and get better.’’
Pt Chev are now two points clear at the top of the standings with Howick leap-frogging Mt Albert into second place.