Lions rest and recover before Fox Memorial do-or- die time
A well-earned week off is set to rejuvenate the Mt Albert Lions at the business end of the Fox Memorial league series.
Mt Albert get a break after they thumped the Papakura Sea Eagles 66-6 in the first round of the playoffs at Fowlds Park on Saturday.
Lions coach Brent Gemmell says his side were “a little bit wobbly” in the first 20 minutes of the match, but soon turned things around.
“We failed to complete some sets, but soon settled back down into our game.
“The key message at halftime was to play at a semifinal standard.”
And that’s just what Gem- mell’s players did, putting on 42 unanswered points in the second spell after leading 246 at the break.
Gemmell won’t know who his side will face in their preliminary final on September 13 until this Saturday’s matches are completed.
But he is confident his players can maintain their focus through the right prep- aration at training during the week.
“The key thing for us is the need to keep up our own intensity because the next game is do or die for both teams,” he says.
“Ultimately you’ve got to go into the finals in the right state of mind. We’ll keep the guys together and focused on football.”
He says the time off will allow several players to recover from niggling injuries.
Marist also made it to the next round, upsetting East Coast Bays 22-18 at Freyberg Park.
In the second-tier Sharman Cup competition Richmond defeated Ellerslie 48-26, while Bay Roskill overcame Ponsonby 24-18.
While Mt Albert have Saturday off, Marist play Glenora at Harold Moody Park.
And in the Sharman Cup, top-qualifiers Richmond have also earned a break, while Bay Roskill face Pakuranga at Blockhouse Bay Reserve and Ponsonby take on Manurewa at Leabank Park.
All games start at 2.30pm.