Premiers ready for next round

The impressive form shown by the Ponsonby Premiers to date in 2018, sees them as the only unbeaten side at this level. After ten wins on the trot, the real measure of their fortitude and the development from the past few seasons will be put to the test commencing this Saturday when the Alan McEvoy Memorial Trophy competition kicks off. Ponsonby will have seven seemingly tough matches, starting with Grammar-Tec on their Orakei home ground on Saturday afternoon.

The eight sides in the Alan McEvoy competition square off on a round robin basis, with the top four finalists progressing to the Gallaher Shield play-offs in late July. Rivalry in the round will be high, as all the sides seek one of the top four spots, Additionally, the sides that finish first and second are awarded home ground advantage in the semi-finals, the home ground benefit eluding Ponsonby in recent seasons and this has proved costly.

Ponsonby’s form in 2018 has been described by many as impressive, especially in the matches against the ‘big guns’ of the round. The side is performing as a cohesive unit, with the efforts of many of the unsung heroes in the squad being acknowledged by various from outside the club.

In 2018 Grammar-Tec’s form, by their own admission, has been patchy, but they are a well-regarded nemesis of Ponsonby. In recent years Grammar-Tec had an advantage over Ponsonby, and encounters between the two generally saw the honours going their way.

The two sides last met in July 2017. Played at Orakei Domain, Ponsonby raced out to a 24-0 after 22 minutes. In the second half Ponsonby went to 36-7 ahead, and then resisted a Grammar-Tec comeback, holding on to win by 36-28.

Ponsonby have named a strong side to start against Grammar-Tec, including the return to the backs of Jordan Trainor and John Cooper, plus Hermann Huch starts in the front row after being rested last week. Sam Slade has been handed the honour of captaining the side.

The match on Saturday is sure to be a cracker, and Grammar-Tec is certain to produce a mammoth performance, eager to break Ponsonby’s winning streak and to impede their Gallaher Shield aspirations.

PONSONBY:

1. Connor Halangahu

2. Steven Savali

3. Herman Huch

4. Samuel Slade (C)

5. Jamie Lane

6. Nepia Fox-Matamua

7. Aleks Dabek

8. Taina Fox-Matamua

9. Tatsuya Hamano

10. Rocky Khan

11. Morrison Siliko

12. William Talataina-Mu

13. Patrick Tausie

14. Johnny Cooper

15. Jordan Trainor

16. Willie Uili

17. Brice Schilling

18. Daniel Mau’u

19. Moteiva Ngauamo

20. Mcarthy Cocker-Filikitonga

21. Campbell Woodmass

22. Tilitili Puloka