Ponsonby and University have met on three occasions in 2018, and the honours reads three to nil in Ponsonby’s favour following their 32-26 victory against the students last Saturday. This win will most certainly give the blue and blacks a tremendous amount of confidence as they plan their campaign to be amongst the top qualifiers to compete for the Gallaher Shield in late July.
Played at Western Springs Stadium in perfect rugby conditions, University raced out to an early 12-0 lead. However Ponsonby managed to claw their way back to lead narrowly by 15-12 at the halftime break, courtesy of tries to Morrison Siliko and William Talataina-Mu, plus a penalty and a conversion by Jordan Trainor.
The combined scrummaging work of Connor Halangahu and Herman Huch were good competition for their much favoured opposites of Marcel Renata and Antonio Ripata, their efforts contributing to the Ponsonby pack snaring a number of tightheads from the students.
In the second half Ponsonby added two further tries, scored by Taina Fox-Matamua and John Cooper, with Trainor landing both conversions in addition to adding a penalty goal.
Ponsonby sit at the top of the Alan McEvoy Trophy table after two rounds, with ten points and next week they face the second placed side – College Rifles. Ponsonby have a clean sweep to date in 2018, having won every match. College Rifles on the other hand are yet to lose a match since the start of the Alan McEvoy qualifying round on the 14th of April. They have won all bar one, being a 31-all draw against Papatoetoe in the third round. The match between the two sides is certain to be a massive struggle given the intense rivalry in this competition, and both sides will have their foot on the accelerator as they compete for top spot on the table. The encounter kicks off at 2.45pm at Western Springs Stadium next Saturday afternoon.