Plenty at stake in final round

Going into this weeks final round robin match against Pakuranga, the Ponsonby Premiers will be comfortable in the knowledge that they have a secure spot in the pending Gallaher Shield semi-finals. However there is plenty at stake for them when they host Pakuranga on Saturday afternoon. Of the eight sides in the Alan McEvoy competition Ponsonby are the only side with a guaranteed place in next week’s semi-finals, but a win, or at the accrual of at least one bonus point, on Saturday against Pakuranga will earn them a semi-final match at Western Springs stadium. A win, or two bonus points will also see them win the Alan McEvoy Memorial Trophy, one which has eluded them for several seasons. In the past few seasons the Premiers have featured in Gallaher Shield semi-finals against Suburbs and University, but in these fixtures which were played away from Western Springs stadium, the results went the way of their opposition, who each had home ground advantage.

From the six matches of this round Pakuranga have recorded four losses and two solitary wins. Last week they were edged 26-14 by Suburbs, after trailing by 14-7 at halftime. When facing Ponsonby, Pakuranga will give no consideration to results against other teams. Pakuranga will rise to the occasion, and will be determined to halt Ponsonby’s progress.

After an impressive performance last week Wilson Lavelua retains his spot in the front row, and he will be joined by Brice Schilling. Returning from injury to the starting XV for the Pakuranga match is Patrick Tausie who slots back into the midfield. Also rejoining the side after being unavailable last week is number eight Taina Fox-Matamua. Starting from the bench in what will be their first appearances this season are Charles Napa'a and Danny Tusitala, who will be covering hooker and halfback respectively.     

The match kicks off at 2.45pm, preceeded by the two Development sides at 1.00pm.

The Ponsonby side for this fixture is:

PONSONBY:

1. Wilson Lavelua

2. Steven Savali

3. Brice Schilling

4. Moteiva Ngauamo

5. Sam Slade

6. Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa

7. Aleks Dabek

8. Taina Fox-Matamua

9. Campbell Woodmass

10. William Talataina-Mu

11. Noah Mataia

12. Tilitili Puloka

13. Patrick Tausie

14. Johnny Cooper

15. Morrison Siliko

16. Charles Napa'a

17. Alex Matapo

18. Phil Viane

19. McCarthy Cocker-Filikitonga

20. TJ Faalogo

21. Danny Tusitala

22. Junior Cagiaceva