Front row leads the way for win

Central Leader - - Sport - By Scott Mor­gan

A dom­i­nant per­for­mance from the Pon­sonby front row helped their team se­cure an im­pres­sive 59-3 win over Waitakere City in the Alan McEvoy club rugby com­pe­ti­tion.

Pon­sonby coach Si­mon Scott says the com­bi­na­tion of club stal­wart Sam Fi­fita, for­mer Manu Samoa hooker Johnny Mered­ith and young­ster Sione Mau gelled quickly at West­ern Springs on Satur­day.

“They’re looking very good. They’ve dom­i­nated a num­ber of teams over the last cou­ple of weeks.”

The reign­ing champs racked up nine tries dur­ing the victory, in­clud­ing a dou­ble to vet­eran first five Brett Wil­liams.

But Scott says stop­ping Waitakere from cross­ing the try­line was just as im­por­tant.

“They pushed us hard in the last 10 min­utes, but we kept them out.

“Our de­fence is what made last sea­son suc­cess­ful for us.”

The ad­di­tion of Blues play­ers Jay Wil­liams and Win­ston Stan­ley also gave Pon­sonby a boost when they took the field.

“That ex­pe­ri­ence and the lit­tle bit more think­ing that goes on at that top level is re­ally im­por­tant for us,” Scott says. “We’ve got a lot of depth at the mo­ment.”

He isn’t tak­ing any­thing for granted with play­ers chang­ing clubs dur­ing the off-sea­son, which can make it dif­fi­cult to know what to ex­pect so early in the sea­son.

“I think some teams have gone up in strength and some have gone down.

“It will take a few weeks to see who’s per­form­ing and who’s not,” he says.

Mean­while Gram­mar Carl­ton had a con­vinc­ing 4410 win over Te Pa­papa-Mt Welling­ton at Corn­wall Park, while Col­lege Ri­fles nar­rowly de­feated Eden-Roskill 17-14 at Grib­ble­hirst Park.

On Satur­day Pon­sonby visit Eden Roskill at Grib­ble­hirst Park, Gram­mar Carl­ton host Otahuhu at Corn­wall Park and Te Pa­papa-Mt Welling­ton take on Waitakere City at Ham­lin Park.

Matches start at 2.45pm.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Driv­ing for­ward: Pon­sonby prop Sione Mau is dragged down by Waitakere City’s Malu Fuimaono dur­ing their club rugby match at West­ern Springs on Satur­day.

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