Bounce goes Pukekohe’s way

Franklin County News - - SPORT -

‘‘To be per­fectly hon­est I feel the dif­fer­ence was luck. We had a bit of ball at the end there and we ac­tu­ally turned it over and we were lucky to get a charge down and the ball bounced our way.’’

Pukekohe needed a late try to take vic­tory over an un­lucky Pa­pakura in McNa­mara Cup rugby ac­tion on Sat­ur­day.

For the sec­ond time this sea­son, Pa­pakura ap­peared to be set for a break-through win against one of the com­pe­ti­tion’s lead­ing sides only for a heart-break­ing last-gasp touch­down to deny them.

Pukekohe coach Mark Price ad­mit­ted his side was for­tu­nate to get away with the win. A charged­down kick that bounced Pukekohe’s way was the dif­fer­ence be­tween vic­tory and de­feat.

‘‘We had to work ex­tremely hard to get it,’’ Price said.

‘‘Pa­pakura put us un­der a lot of pres­sure and it took more than the 80 min­utes to get the job done.

‘‘To be per­fectly hon­est I feel the dif­fer­ence was luck. We had a bit of ball at the end there and we ac­tu­ally turned it over and we were lucky to get a charge down and the ball bounced our way.’’

Price is con­vinced that a win for Pa­pakura against a top side will hap­pen at any time. The for­mer Steel­ers rep was im­pressed with his op­po­si­tion.

‘‘I think we were be­low our best but we were forced into it,’’ he added.

‘‘The way Pa­pakura forced us into do­ing things we don’t nor­mally do so a lot of credit needs to go to Pa­pakura.’’

Karaka took a con­vinc­ing 47-10 win over Waiuku at Rugby Park to keep pace with the lead­ing sides. They trail the com­pe­ti­tion lead­ers by just three points.

Scott Pen­ney’s side racked up seven tries to con­tinue their im­pres­sive run – they’ve now won four games on the bounce af­ter a first round loss to start the sea­son.

‘‘It is good for us to keep rolling on,’’ Pen­ney said. ‘‘It wasn’t as con­vinc­ing as the score line sug­gests. Waiuku played some re­ally good rugby – that is the first time I have been out there and seen them put a bit of width on their at­tack­ing form so Jeremy [Wara] is def­i­nitely do­ing some good things out there.’’

Both teams re­ally strug­gled to adapt to the ref­eree so that changed the game a lit­tle bit.

‘‘The boys stuck to their game plan. We are get­ting into some struc­ture. Our scrum went re­ally well af­ter be­ing tested by a big Onewhero side the week be­fore.’’

Pa­tuma­hoe re­main the only un­beaten side in the com­pe­ti­tion while re­tain­ing the Coun­ties Power Cup as they edged Onewhero 27-20 at Pa­tuma­hoe Do­main.

It was the fifth suc­ces­sive win for the home side and the four-try bonus point win en­sures they re­main at the top of the stand­ings for an­other week.

‘‘It was good,’’ coach Reon Gra­ham said. ‘‘I am happy with the per­for­mance be­cause Onewhero are al­ways a tough side. ‘‘They kept com­ing at us. ‘‘There were patches of de­fense that we were re­ally happy with and that was the fo­cus of the week be­cause they have some big, strong run­ning backs and a cou­ple in their for­ward pack and we held them out for the most part.’’

Gra­ham sin­gled out a few in­di­vid­u­als for strong per­for­mances.

‘‘Ta­mati Fromm got our player of the day. He led the way in our tack­les and go for­ward. Palu, our num­ber eight had an­other strong game.

‘‘Craig Jones in his blazer game made a lot of tack­les and then Troy Michie at half­back and then full­back played re­ally well and had a good run­ning game.’’

Pa­tuma­hoe faces sec­ond-placed Karaka next week in a top of the ta­ble clash.

Ard­more Marist kept their win­ning run in­tact as well – their 27-20 win over Bom­bay makes if fourstraight vic­to­ries for the Doug Sanft-coached out­fit.

Katetis­toti Nginingini scored a dou­ble to help the home side to a four-try bonus point

Bom­bay, who have won four straight McNa­mara Cups picked up their fourth loss in five matches to lan­guish in eighth place on the cham­pi­onship lad­der. They have been in every game how­ever and have en­dured an ex­tremely tough sched­ule to open the sea­son.

Ma­nurewa con­tin­ued their im­pres­sive start to 2018 by thrash­ing Te Kauwhata 74-5 at Mount­fort Park.

The 12-tries to one win sees them re­main in fourth place on the ta­ble while im­pres­sive winger Wil­lie Tuala’s hat-trick has pro­pelled him to the top of the AS Wil­cox and Sons leader­board with six tries on the sea­son.

‘‘I was happy with the per­for­mance,’’ coach Jeremy Clark said.

‘‘It was al­ways go­ing to be tough not know­ing what to ex­pect from TK. We just know they give a tough 80 min­utes and it was no dif­fer­ent yes­ter­day.’’

MCNA­MARA CUP (PRE­MIER 1):

Pa­pakura 26 (Faalae Peni 2, Ge­orge Crich­ton tries; Faalae Peni cons; Faalae Peni 3 pens), Pukekohe 31 (Cal­lum Adams 2, Vil­iami Vake, Peni Buakula, Joshua Baver­stock tries; Sione Fi­fita 2, Cody White cons), HT: 20-24. Ard­more Marist 27 (Katetis­toti Nginingini 2, Latiume Fosita, Joseph Ike­na­sio tries; Latiume Fosita 2 cons; Latiume pens), Bom­bay 20 (Tulele Ma­soe, Pa­trick Ma­soe tries; Ki Anufe 2 cons; Ki Anufe 2 pens), HT: 12-20. Ma­nurewa 74 (James Faiva 2, Michael Tafili, Pisi Leilua, Petelo Ike­na­sio, Joshua Tafili 2, Blake Ashby 2, Wil­lie Tuala 3 tries; James Faiva 7 cons), Te Kauwhata 5 (Cameron Daw­son tries), HT: 38-5. Waiuku 15 (Le­meki Tulele, Michael McKee, A Le­vean­siga tries), Karaka 47 (Seluini Mo­lia, Lepeti­malo Lauese, Sione Ga­toloai, Wal­ter Fi­fita, Juan Be­nadie, Desma Li­aina 2 tries; Kalione Hala 6 cons), HT: 10-26. Pa­tuma­hoe (Coun­ties Power Cup Hold­ers) 27 (Palu Ale 2, Kalim North, Troy Michie tries; Ri­ley Ho­hepa 2 cons; Ri­ley Ho­hepa pens), Onewhero 20 (Vaughan Holdt, Amo Falani tries; Rhain Strang 2 cons; Rhain Strang 2 pens), HT: 17-6.

BOB CHAN­DLER ME­MO­RIAL (PRE­MIER 2):

Pa­pakura 24 Pukekohe 29; Ard­more Marist 62 Bom­bay 0; Te Kauwhata de­faulted to Ma­nurewa; Pa­tuma­hoe 28 Onewhero 29; Waiuku 27 Karaka 30.

SID MAR­SHALL SHIELD (PRE­MIER 3):

MARAMARUA 17 WEYMOUTH 43; PUNI 19 DRURY 22.

MASSEY CUP (U21):

Ard­more Marist 12 Pukekohe 31; Bom­bay 13 Pa­tuma­hoe; Pa­pakura 28 Ma­nurewa 19

UN­DER 85KG:

Bom­bay 0 Pa­tuma­hoe 41; Onewhero 10 Pa­pakura 16; Karaka 42 Waiuku 5.

Ma­nurewa ap­pears to be the big im­provers this sea­son and al­ready look ca­pa­ble of chal­leng­ing for the ti­tle for the first time in a num­ber of sea­sons.

‘‘We have had goals from the start,’’ Clark said.

‘‘It is only early days and there is still a lot of im­prove­ment to be done. We wanted as many points as we can in the first round and we seem to be tick­ing a lot of boxes.’’

In Pre­mier 2 ac­tion Pukekohe, Ard­more Marist and Karaka backed up the per­for­mances of their top sides by record­ing vic­to­ries while Onewhero re­versed their pre­mier’s re­sult in beat­ing Pa­tuma­hoe 28-29.

Ma­nurewa got a walk over win against Te Kauwhata. It means Pukekohe, Karaka and Ma­nurewa hold the top three spots while Waiuku and Pa­tuma­hoe are tied for fourth.

Pre­mier 3’s Sid Mar­shall Shield got un­der­way this week with de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Weymouth start­ing off in per­fect fash­ion – beat­ing Maramarua 43-17 while Drury opened their cam­paign with an close 22-19 win over Puni.

In Un­der 21 matches Pukekohe, Pa­tuma­hoe and Pa­pakura en­joyed first round wins while Pa­tuma­hoe, Karaka and Pa­pakura picked up first round wins in Un­der 85kg fix­tures.

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