With two matches remaining in the Alan McEvoy qualifying round robin section of the club competition, Ponsonby sit in second place on 19 points on the table, and this Saturday will tackle Manukau Rovers at Western Springs Stadium.
This Saturday’s match will mark Ponsonby’s first defence in the new tenure of the Sir Fred Allen Challenge Cup. Ponsonby last held this Cup in 2010, and will be eager to hold on to it for an extended spell.
Of the five competition matches played to date, Ponsonby has recorded four wins and the solitary loss, that loss being in the opening round at the hands of College Rifles, who top the competition table with 22 points.
Ponsonby’s next opponent, Manukau Rovers, sits in fifth place on the table on 14 points, and the blue and blacks will be conscious that their pending visitors beat them on two occasions in the 2015 season. In the first match in April at Williams Park, Ponsonby went down by 18-16, then in June at Western Springs Ponsonby were edged by 35-32.
Ponsonby will be buoyed by their victories in their last two matches, at the expense of two of the heavy weights of the club competition – Grammar-Tec and Pakuranga. A win this Saturday over Manukau Rovers would all but assure them a place amongst the top four qualifiers who will go on to contest the Alan McEvoy Memorial Shield - the competition starting on the 4th of June.
Manukau Rovers on the other hand, has two wins from its five outings, and these have been over the lowly placed Te Papapa-Onehunga and Otahuhu. However their three losses (Grammar-Tec, College Rifles and Eden) have all been narrow defeats. The most recent loss (last weekend) was to Eden, played at Manukau Rovers’ South Auckland home, a result which was Eden’s first win of the season. Manukau Rovers were in charge at 24-15 until well into the second spell, but let their guard down and were powerless to prevent Eden running in three converted tries.
The Premiers feature on the main ground at Western Springs Stadium at 2.45pm, whilst the Premier Reserves playing in the curtain-raiser, kicking off at 1.00pm.
1. Alex Matapo; 2. Willie Uili; 3. Marco Fepu’leai; 4. Leo Ngahe; 5. Jamie Lane; 6. Anthony Diack; 7. Waha Waitohi; 8. Presley Tufuga; 9. Campbell Woodmass; 10.William Talataina-Mu; 11. Freedom Vaha’akolo; 12. Keenan Masina; 13. Junior Caciaceva; 14. Danny Tusitala; 15. Charlie Hubert;
16. Steven Savalii; 17. Junior Halafuka; 18. Chanel Vito; 19. Willis Hopwood; 20. Morrison Siliko; 21. Patrick Tausie; 22. Joseph Beckett