Premier team to face Waitemata

After last week’s small blemish on what has been a near perfect season, the Ponsonby Premiers will look to get their semi-final plans back on track when they take on Waitemata on Saturday afternoon. Ponsonby were edged by Eden in a physical 33-31 encounter, but were still able to secure two valuable bonus points that saw them retain their top of the table position, which cemented their spot in the semis.

This week they will challenge the team that currently sits in seventh spot on 8 points, and if they clinch wins in the two remaining games and have other results go their way, mathematically a place in the semi-finals is not beyond Waitemata’s reach. So Ponsonby are certain to encounter a very determined opposition at Waitemata Park.

With the backing of their loyal supporters, Waitemata are traditionally a formidable prospect at home. Of the 12 competition games they have started this year they boast a lower than usual 50% win ratio, but they will be hungry for a win over Ponsonby to be amongst the top four qualifiers.

Equally, in this the penultimate round, whilst Ponsonby have secured their place in the semi-finals, they will want to claim maximum points from this fixture to be one of the top two finalists who earn home ground advantage.

Injury and non-availability of some key players sees several changes to the squad for the Waitemata match from the team that started against Eden last week. Wilson Lavelua, Waimana Reidlinger-Kapa and TJ Faalogo join the pack. In the backline Noah Mataia slots onto the left wing and Junior Cagiaceva has his first start of the year, starting at centre.

The Ponsonby side for this fixture is:

PONSONBY:

1. Wilson Lavelua

2. Steven Savali

3. Herman Huch

4. Moteiva Ngauamo

5. Sam Slade

6. Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa

7. Aleks Dabek

8. TJ Faalogo

9. Rilloy Suesue

10. William Talataina-Mu

11. Noah Mataia

12. Tilitili Puloka

13. Junior Cagiaceva

14. Johnny Cooper

15. Morrison Siliko

16. Matangireia Yates-Francis

17. Phil Viane

18. Brice Schilling

19. McCarthy Cocker-Filikitonga

20. Antoine Pailette

21. Campbell Woodmass

22. Aleni Ropati