Pt Che­va­lier win Stor­mont Shield again

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - SAMHEWAT

The Pt Che­va­lier Pi­rates have re­tained Auck­land Rugby League’s Stor­mont Shield for the fourth consecutive year.

The Pi­rates de­feated Pa­pakura 38-24 in round one of the Fox Memo­rial Auck­land premier grade com­pe­ti­tion on Saturday in what was a re­peat of last year’s Grand Fi­nal.

They also picked up the Roope Rooster - rugby league’s equiv­a­lent of the Ran­furly Shield con­tested dur­ing home games of the cur­rent holder, in this case, Pa­pakura.

The Stor­mont Shield is usu­ally played between the win­ner of the pre­vi­ous year’s Fox Memo­rial com­pe­ti­tion and the hold­ers of the Ruku­tai Shield - for the mi­nor pre­miers - though this year Pa­pakura held both so it was con­tested between the 2016 grand fi­nal teams.

The win­ner is crowned the ‘‘cham­pion of champions’’ and locks away the Stor­mont for the en­tire sea­son.

Pi­rates head coach Zane Pock­ling­ton said the first half, in which the Pi­rates led 24-0, was a great start for his side against a no­to­ri­ously strong team.

‘‘Pa­pakura is a classy out­fit, and they set the stan­dard last year,’’ Pock­ling­ton said.

De­spite lock­ing away the sil­ver­ware, Pock­ling­ton, in his first sea­son as head coach, won’t let one game af­fect his team’s men­tal­ity.

‘‘Cham­pi­onships aren’t won in the first week and we still have a lot to work on,’’ Pock­ling­ton said. ‘‘We prob­a­bly weren’t as fit as we hoped to­wards the back end.’’

Pi­rates cap­tain Siua Otunuku was sur­prised his side had such a big half­time lead, but also said his side wouldn’t look too far into the re­sult.

’’We ex­pected a bit more of an arm wres­tle from Pa­pakura in that first half,’’ Otunuku said.

‘‘It was a bit of a shock go­ing in with a half­time lead like that. But we’re not read­ing too much into it, it’s still early days.’’

Other no­table results around the com­pe­ti­tion in­cluded the Mt Al­bert Li­ons 44-20 win over Marist.

The Li­ons wouldn’t let a late coach­ing change af­fect the start of their sea­son with Wil­lie Swan an­nounc­ing just two weeks ago that he wouldn’t re­turn, hand­ing the reins to the re­serves coaches.

Mean­while Rich­mond made sure Te Atatu’s first game back in the Fox Memo­rial com­pe­ti­tion was a tough one, win­ning 38-26 at home.

SUP­PLIED

The Pt Che­va­lier Pi­rates claim Auck­land Rugby League’s Stor­mont Shield yet again.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.