Bom­bay inch­ing closer to top spot

Franklin County News - - SPORT -

Bom­bay stayed a point off the cham­pi­onship lead in Coun­ties Manukau club rugby’s McNa­mara Cup on the week­end with a hard-fought 14-3 win over fel­low top four side Karaka.

The re­sult re­verses the first round fix­ture, which saw Karaka tri­umph.

‘‘The conditions were pretty ter­ri­ble. At one stage in the sec­ond half the wind and rain was just hor­i­zon­tal,’’ Bom­bay coach Jeff Marr said.

‘‘We had the lion’s share of pos­ses­sion and I thought our for­ward pack got up there and had a big day at the of­fice.’’

Bom­bay takes on top-of-thetable Pa­tuma­hoe this week in a tough run of games early in the sec­ond round.

Pa­tuma­hoe stayed atop the stand­ings with a nar­row 14-12 win over Pukekohe at Colin Lawrie Fields.

The vis­i­tors jumped out to an early 14-0 lead and had a third try ruled out. From that mo­ment on how­ever Pukekohe dom­i­nated ter­ri­tory and pos­ses­sion and all but ran them down.

‘‘It was tough – we knew it would take the whole 80 min­utes to win here at Pukekohe,’’ a re­lieved Pa­tuma­hoe coach Jeff Maka said.

Ard­more-Marist moved to third on the lad­der with a 32-20 win over Waiuku.

‘‘It was a to­tally dif­fer­ent Waiuku side than what we faced in round one,’’ Ard­more-Marist coach Saua Leau­pepetele said.

Onewhero closed the gap to the top four and kept hold of the fa­mous gum­boot as they got the spoils against Te Kauwhata 29-10.

Onewhero raced out to an early lead and se­cured a four-try bonus point be­fore half­time. With a 24-0 lead at the break it threat­ened to get ugly but Te Kauwhata played strongly in the sec­ond half with the wind.

‘‘It was a typ­i­cal Te KauwhataOnewhero gum­boot game kind of match,’’ coach Adam Catch­cart.

‘‘It was a bit messy at the start and took ev­ery­one about 10 min­utes to get into the game.’’

Ma­nurewa racked up the big­gest score of the round in thrash­ing Pa­pakura 67-15 to keep alive their semi­fi­nal as­pi­ra­tions.

‘‘We got off to a good start,’’ as­sis­tant coach Jeremy Clark said.

‘‘The tight five did well in the con­tact ar­eas early and the backs just fin­ished off some good work from the for­wards.’’

In Premier 2 ac­tion Waiuku, Karaka and Pukekohe all made up for their Premier 1 sides go­ing down to the same op­po­si­tion by record­ing vic­to­ries while Ma­nurewa and Onewhero also col­lected wins.

Wey­mouth and Mara­marua had wins in Premier 3.

Pukekohe Un­der 21s claimed a win in the Coun­ties Power game of the week with a su­perb 19-15 win over the pre­vi­ously un­beaten Pa­tuma­hoe.

Mon­tell Whareaitu of Pukekohe was named player of the day.

Karaka, Ard­more-Marist and Bom­bay also had wins.

RICHARD SPRANGER

Bom­bay’s Sam Vaka tack­les Karaka’s Wal­ter Fi­fita.

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