Tro­phy up for grabs

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - SAMHEWAT

There’s more than just com­pe­ti­tion points on the line when Col­lege Ri­fles and Eden meet in Auck­land Rugby’s game of the round this week­end.

The Fred Allen Tro­phy is up for grabs as the two teams come to­gether for the first time since round one of the premier com­pe­ti­tion back in April.

The tro­phy is Auck­land Rugby’s equiv­a­lent of the Ran­furly Shield and has had its home at Ri­fles since July last year.

The two clubs are sep­a­rated only by points dif­fer­ence in the Gal­la­her Shield com­pe­ti­tion how­ever, it hasn’t been smooth sail­ing for the Auck­land teams who were both touted as favourites to be­gin the sea­son.

For Ri­fles, they had an un­blem­ished record through eight matches be­fore be­ing thumped by Pon­sonby 20-40 two weeks ago. Coach John Clough was dis­ap­pointed with his sides first loss of the sea­son and said it was a day they’d rather for­get.

‘‘To be real blunt, they ex­posed a cou­ple of weak­nesses we had, and played bet­ter on the day,’’ Clough said.

‘‘We came an­gry.’’

Ri­fles bounced back with an em­phatic 36-0 win over Manukau on the week­end. That was enough to convince Clough his side was back on track.

It was a sim­i­lar story for Eden, who suf­fered a tough loss against Univer­sity 22-33 the same week­end Ri­fles lost to Pon­sonby. Coach David Bate­man echoed sim­i­lar sen­ti­ments and said on any other day, they prob­a­bly would have got the re­sult.

‘‘We played our worst game of the year against Univer­sity and they played their best game,’’ Bate­man said.

Now, the two will face each other again af­ter Ri­fles came out on top when the teams last met.

‘‘We like to win tro­phies, we’ve won a lot, so it’s go­ing to be an epic game,’’ Bate­man said. off the field re­ally

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