Carlton get a break in second half play
Toughing it out in blustery first half conditions paid dividends for the Grammar Carlton rugby side during their 4013 win over Otahuhu on Saturday.
While they only led 12-6 at the break, playing into a strong headwind, coach Brandon Jackson says his side took control with the breeze at their back.
“We didn’t really get our rhythm right in the first half, but started to be much more clinical in the second.”
Jackson singled out loose forwards Dean Budd and Hamish Paterson as “outstanding”.
He says Budd has made a major contribution to the team since being selected in the Auckland Air New Zealand Cup squad last year and the Blues’ wider training squad this season.
“When you get players who’ve played at a higher level, it lifts the whole team.”
He’s resigned to losing Budd for this week’s clash with old foes Ponsonby, with the Blues’ entire loose forward trio suffering injuries in their Super 14 clash against the Reds on Saturday.
Jackson says the way Grammar Carlton prepared for this season is much different to last year, but he’s pleased with how things are progressing so far.
“Last year we had the top four sides in the first five weeks. This year we’re looking to peak later in the season rather than the beginning,” Jackson says.
Meanwhile Ponsonby demolished Eden- Roskill 57-7, while Te Papapa-Mt Wellington lost to Waitakere City 36-17.
On Saturday, Gram- mar Carlton clash with Ponsonby at Western Springs, Eden-Roskill visit Manukau at Williams Park and Te Pa- papa-Mt Wellington lock horns with Waitemata at Waitemata Park.
All matches start at 2.45pm.
On the charge: Grammar Carlton centre Tutu Tairea attempts to break through the tackle of Otahuhu’s Olajuwon Noa, left, and Jack Petelo.