Pakuranga down defending champs in semi
Defending champions Grammar Carlton lost out to Pakuranga in the semi-final for rugby’s Gallaher Shield in a tense 21-16 battle at Bell Park on Saturday.
The win for Pakuranga has seen them advance to their first Gallaher Shield final.
The home side
dominated possession and territory for long spells but found themselves having to defend their line in the final minutes to hold on to the win.
With a raft of representative players in both teams there were impressive performances across the park. Front rower Tom McCartney was particularly inspirational for Pakuranga while Dave Thomas and Bryce Heem combined to make a dangerous midfield pair for Grammar Carlton.
Grammar Carlton coach Richie Harris concedes his team didn’t have enough field position to get points.
‘‘We came up just short,’’ Harris says.
‘‘We played a lot of football and Pakuranga tired at the end but we ran out of time.
Eden were at the wrong end of a close game to Otahuhu in the semi-final for the Portola Trophy, going down 19-15.