Ponsonby head into the 3rd round of the Alan McEvoy Memorial Trophy competition on Saturday afternoon facing Waitemata on their turf in Henderson.
The blue and blacks should be confident after their gutsy 18-9 over a dogged Pakuranga side last Saturday, a match in which Ponsonby had to dig deep in the second half to overcome a resurgent opposition.
Waitemata on the other hand will start this Saturday’s match somewhat bruised and battered after a 27-all draw against Marist, a late try being required by the west Auckland side to salvage the draw.
This match will be the first time that Ponsonby and Waitemata have done battle in 2016. Ponsonby played Waitemata twice in 2015, the west Auckland side emerged with the bragging rights on both occasions, and in 2014 Waitemata also took the victory in round robin play. Unfortunately one needs to look back to the 15th of June 2013 to find the last time that Ponsonby had a win over their nemesis.
The Anton Begovich Memorial Trophy will be at stake in this match, a trophy that Ponsonby would dearly like to see back at Western Springs. The blue and blacks won the trophy in its inaugural season (2013), but it has resided at Waitemata’s Sturges Rd clubrooms since 2014. The trophy was donated by Ponsonby’s Dennis Mansfield in acknowledgement of the hard work and tremendous support given by Anton to both the Waitemata and Ponsonby clubs.
Since the first round of play back on the 16th of April, Waitemata have registered six wins, two losses and a draw. They have scored 35 tries, and have conceded a staggering 28. Ponsonby, by comparison, have scored 33 tries, whilst having their line crossed on only 13 occasions.
Ponsonby start this match with a handful of changes to the XV that started last week against Pakuranga. Sensational outside back Freedom Vaha’akolo has been called up for Auckland Seven’s duty, and his place in the starting XV goes to Morrison Siliko, who impressed off the bench last week. Charlie Hubert returns to the fullback position after missing last week’s match.
The match marks the 40th and blazer game of the exceptional Pryor Collier.
The Premiers feature on the main ground at Waitemata at 2.45pm, whilst the unbeaten Premier Reserves play in the curtain-raiser, kicking off at 1.00pm.
1. Junior Halafuka; 2. Willie Uili; 3. Marco Fepu’leai; 4. Leo Ngahe; 5. Jamie Lane; 6. Sam Slade; 7. Willis Hopwood; 8. Presley Tufuga; 9. Campbell Woodmass; 10.William Talataina-Mu; 11. Morrison Siliko; 12. Keenan Masina; 13. Pryor Collier; 14. Morrison Siliko; 15. Charlie Hubert
16. Alex Matapo; 17. Steven Savali; 18. Anthony Diack; 19. Chanel Vito; 20. Laki Tiatia; 21. Pat Tausie; 22. Robert Sanele