Premiers impressive in Grammar-Tec mauling

The Ponsonby Premiers kicked off their Alan McEvoy Championship campaign in style last Saturday with an emphatic demolition of Grammar-Tec by 57-10. Ponsonby paved the way for the victory with six first half tries, four being scored by Jordan Trainor from fullback, putting them ahead by 40-10 at halftime.

From the get-go Ponsonby played the game at a frenetic pace, which Grammar-Tec struggled to match or control. The Ponsonby pack were ruthless and dominant, with Connor Halangahu appearing to have the better of his opposite in the scrum and in the breakdown.

Rocky Khan was relishing being back in the blue and black jumper, and his superb skills were causing endless mayhem for the intended Grammar-Tec defenders. Khan was a key component in several of the Trainor tries, providing the spectators with some genuine entertainment.

Taina Fox- Matamua is impressing in each appearance, and he joined the scoring sheet with two tries.

The message from the Grammar-Tec coaching team at the break would have been stern, but they were kept scoreless by Ponsonby, and were unable to prevent the blue and blacks from scoring three further tries in the second spell – two to Patrick Tausie and one to Tili Puloka.

Ponsonby will now focus on next Saturday’s assignment when they will host University at Western Springs Stadium. University edged past Eden by 17-11 in a very physical encounter in last week’s round. Ponsonby and University have done battle on two occasions so far in 2018, and Ponsonby have been the victors in both matches.


Tries: Jordan Trainor 4, Taina Fox-Matamua 2, Patrick Tausie 2 and Tili Puloka

Conversions: Jordan Trainor 5, Rocky Khan

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.


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

Premiers rampant over Otahuhu

The last match of the first round competition last Saturday had the Ponsonby Premiers drawn to face Otahuhu at Sturges Park. This match was essentially a clash between the team at the top of the table (Ponsonby) and the team at the bottom of the table. Ponsonby had already secured a spot in the Alan McEvoy Trophy round, so there was nothing at stake in this fixture, apart from Ponsonby wanting to retain their unbeaten record in 2018.

The Premiers crossed for 14 tries in the 84-10 spectacle, with winger Noah Mataia registering a hat trick. In a match which was extremely one-sided, the game was played with tremendous spirit and featured very few penalties.

This match saw a handful of changes to the run on squad from that which had performed so well against Eden in the previous round. Waha Waitohi, Brice Schilling and Tili Puloka were promoted from the bench to start against Otahuhu, whilst Noah Mataia was called into the team to cover for the unavailable Jordan Trainor.

Ponsonby’s first try of the match came in the opening minute, and from this moment the points came at a regular clip. A Ponsonby clearing kick was knocked on by Otahuhu, the ball falling into the arms of Steven Savali who charged down the right hand touchline. Play halted momentarily, and then went left, then back right again, reaching Savali who crossed the line. William Talataina-Mu converted.

The second try came in the 12th minute when the captain Aleks Dabek completed a move which had seen Ponsonby spend a lengthy period on attack.

Rocky Khan scored Ponsonby’s third try of the game, which was the result of an 80 metre sweeping move. Talataina-Mu initiated an entertaining passage of play, which included a strong burst by Taina Fox-Matamua. Khan slipped in at the right hand corner, the try being converted by Talataina-Mu, in what was his last act of the game, succumbing to a shoulder injury.

No sooner had Talataina-Mu retired from the game, his replacement Matai Fakautoki scored Ponsonby’s fourth, and bonus point try. The blue and blacks were awarded a penalty 25 metres from the Otahuhu line. A quick tap was taken, play going wide to Morrison Siliko who drew the final defender then offloading to Fakautoki to cross the line. Tili Puloka converted extending the score to 31-0.

Otahuhu recorded their first points of the game when they goaled a handy penalty in the 33rd minute.

From the restart Ponsonby went into the attack mode featuring a move that stretched 50 metres and some superb interchanging between backs and forwards. The move was finished by Puloka who dotted down beneath the posts, and then converted by Khan.

The Otahuhu restart failed to go the required 10 metres, Ponsonby being awarded a scrum on the halfway mark. From this scrum an incisive Siliko break took play agonisingly close to the Otahuhu line. Play went left to the left wing for Noah Mataia to cross in the corner. Khan added the extra points, extending the score to 45-3.

Early in the second spell Taina Fox-Matamua crashed over, followed in quick succession by Noah Mataia who scored his second, recording Ponsonby’s seventh and eighth tries of the match respectively.

With Ponsonby having the go forward impetus, players were rested and several others were injected to the game from the bench. One of the replacement props, Daniel Mau’u, charged over in the 53rd minute. The try was converted by replacement halfback Campbell Woodmass.

Morrison Siliko was having an outstanding match from fullback and was making tremendous territory on his many scything runs. Ponsonby took a quick tap penalty in the 57th minute, play going wide to Siliko to cross in the right hand corner.

A few minutes later Ponsonby were awarded a penalty just inside the Otahuhu half, the ball being drilled toward the corner. From the ensuing lineout the forwards drove to the line, Brice Schilling emerging with the ball in hand.

Otahuhu scored their solitary try of the game in the 68th minute from a tap penalty much to the delight of the home crowd, Ponsonby powerless to stop their momentum.

In the final ten minutes of the match Ponsonby crossed for their last two tries, the first by replacement winger Sam Tabuatamata then the last by Noah Mataia who registered his third.

Ponsonby now advance to the Alan McEvoy competition, the seven match round-robin starts next Saturday. In the competition the blue and blacks will square off with home games against Suburbs, University, Pakuranga and College Rifles, and away games against Suburbs, Grammar-Tec and Waitemata. Ponsonby will meet Grammar-Tec at their Orakei home ground at the earlier kick off time of 1.45pm next Saturday.


Ponsonby: 84

Tries: Noah Mataia 3, Morrison Siliko 2, Steven Savali, Aleks Dabek, Tili Puloka, Rocky Khan, Matai Fakautoki, Daniel Mau’u, Taina Fox-Matamua, Brice Schilling and Sam Tabuatamata

Conversions: William Talataina-Mu 2, Rocky Khan 3, Tili Puloka, Campbell Woodmass



1 Connor Halangahu; 2 Steven Savali; 3 Brice Schilling; 4 Jamie Lane; 5 Moteiva Ngauamo;

6 Waha Waitohi; 7 Aleks Dabek; 8 Taina Fox-Matamua; 9 Tatsuya Hamano;

10 Rocky Khanl 12 William Talataina-Mu; 11 Noah Mataia; 13 Patrick Tausie; 14 Tili Puloka;

 15 Morrison Siliko;

16 Willie Uili; 17 Daniel Mau’u; 18 Sam Slade; 19 TJ Faalogo;  20 Campbell Woodmass;  

21 Matai Fakautoki;  22 Sam Tabuatamata



Premiers advance to top of competition table

Saturday’s top of the table clash produced the right result for the Ponsonby Premiers against incumbent competition leaders Eden, in the second to last match of the qualifying round of the Alan McEvoy Memorial Shield. Both Ponsonby and Eden had qualified for the next round, so at stake for Ponsonby was the opportunity to leapfrog Eden and claim the top spot heading to the final round. The two sides had successfully won five from five in this competition, Eden claiming the distinction of earning a bonus point in each match.

The four try bonus point 27-5 win sees Ponsonby with six victories in this round, and the outlook for the next round looks extremely positive. Despite the 2-1 penalty count against them, Ponsonby were able to dominate against Eden in most facets of play for two thirds of the match.

The Ponsonby coaching team had the luxury of fielding their strongest available XV for this fixture after several players were unavailable and rested in last week’s match against East Tamaki. Of significance was the appearance of sevens star Rocky Khan in the number ten jersey, who donned the blue and black at this level for the first time since 2014. Khan had 58 previous appearances for Ponsonby at this level and his experience was invaluable in this encounter.

Freedom Vaha’akolo had the honour of leading the team onto the stadium in what was in 40th and blazer game. Sadly his appearance was cut short with an injury forcing him from the field early on.

Eden found themselves with a handful of early penalty goals which allowed them to attack at will. They attacked for much of the first ten minutes and looked to flourish once inside the Ponsonby 22. Alas they conceded a turnover, and the blue and blacks launched a counter attack. Tatsuya Hamano raced away from broken play 20 metres from his own line, the passing to William Talataina-Mu who placed a well timed wipers kick away from the Eden defenders, the ball dribbling out 15 metres inside the Eden half. Ponsonby stole the Eden lineout, and a superb Talataina-Mu break then freed Rocky Khan to sprint to the line and dot down under the bar. Jordan Trainor added the extra two points giving his side a handy 7-0 lead.

With the ball in hand Ponsonby looked dangerous, and extremely entertaining, both backs and forwards producing some silky skills.

Taina Fox-Matamua displayed some gritty determination when he scored Ponsonby’s second try. Ponsonby had spent several minutes on attack deep inside the Eden half. Fox-Matamua had a wee bit of room to move along the left hand touch, and with a couple of defenders in tow he charged to the line.

Ponsonby scored their third try just short of the halftime whistle, with Fox-Matamua a dominant figure in the 50 metre move. He made significant territory, throwing a dummy pass as he drew the final two defenders, then offloading to Morrison Siliko who ran unmarked to the line. Trainor converted, stretching the lead to 19-0, which Ponsonby took to the break.

Nine minutes into the second spell Trainor added a penalty goal from 50 metres out, giving Ponsonby a commanding 22-0 lead.

Just moments later Eden went onto attack, but their move fell down inside the Ponsonby 22 when they watched their hard work come undone as a key pass was intercepted. Khan latched onto a misdirected pass and with the goal line and a lot of daylight some 80 metres away, he unleashed his sublime sevens skills. He raced toward the Eden 22, but was ankle tapped from behind. As he fell toward the ground he offloaded to Siliko, who was in support, for the final 20 metres to the line. Trainor could not convert, but Ponsonby had advanced to 27-0.

As the 60 minute mark in the match approached, changes were made from the bench to Ponsonby’s on field XV, and unfortunately momentum seemed to go begging.

Eden crossed for their only try, and solitary score, of the match in the 64th minute, but it was too little, too late for them. Ponsonby had done the damage and had shut them out of the match.  

Next week is the last match in this round robin competition and Ponsonby journey south to face Otahuhu who have not enjoyed a wonderful season to date. They have registered just one win from their six matches in this round, and whilst they will offer plenty of resistance against Ponsonby, the blue and blacks have already qualified for the next round, but will want to progress with their unbeaten record intact.  



Tries:     Morrison Siliko 2, Rocky Khan and Taina Fox-Matamua

Conversions:      Jordan Trainor 2

Penalty:               Jordan Trainor



1 Herman Huch; 2 Steven Savali; 3 Connor Halangahu; 4 Moteiva Ngauamo; 5 Jamie Lane;

6 Nepia Fox-Matamua; 7 Aleks Dabek; 8 Taina Fox-Matamua; 9 Tatsuya Hamano;

10 Rocky Khanl 12 William Talataina-Mu; 11 Morrison Siliko; 13 Patrick Tausie; 14 Freedom

Vaha’akolo; 15 Jordan Trainor; 16 Matangireia Yates-Francis; 17 Brice Schilling; 18 Phil Viane;

19 McCarthy Cocker-Filikitonga; 20 Waharai Waitohi:  21 Campbell Woodmass; 22 Tilitili Puloka




Ponsonby’s fullback Jordan Trainor crossed for four tries and kicked three conversions for a personal tally of 26 points last Saturday afternoon when the Premiers journeyed to South Auckland to tackle East Tamaki in the latest round of the 2018 club competition.

The blue and blacks crossed for eight tries in total in the match, running out the victors by 46-13 after leading by 15-6 at the break. The weather gods again delivered some very dreary conditions in the morning of the match, but the rain subsided prior to kick off, providing a reasonable spectacle for the crowd on hand.

Coming into this round of the competition the bottom placed East Tamaki were still searching for their first win, having conceded 159 points from the first four matches, whilst scoring only 31.

The Ponsonby starting XV for the East Tamaki match contained no fewer than ten changes from that which had started against University the previous week. The Ponsonby coaching team took the opportunity to start several players that had warmed the bench in the earlier rounds. Sam Slade captained the side from lock.

Ponsonby were patchy in the opening quarter and struggled to get their combinations working cohesively, including having issues at lineout time.

Approaching the 20th minute mark in the half Freedom Vaha’akolo was felled in a dangerous tackle, which earned the East Tamaki offender a spell in the sinbin. The ensuing penalty goal attempt from a handy position was missed, but from the restart Ponsonby capitalised. Play went wide from an attacking scrum 40 metres out, finding Trainor in midfield. The fullback had to reach for the awkward pass, and with the ball safely in hand was able to successfully race to the corner.

East Tamaki had attempted several clearing kicks, but too often they failed to find the touchline, some falling into the arms of Vaha’akolo. One such touchfinder in the 27th minute was taken by the right winger who ran round his marker with ease, and with some excellent support from Trainor and Campbell Woodmass, play went to Jamie Lane to complete the 55 metre move.

The home side started feeding of Ponsonby errors, and used the territory wisely. They subsequently recorded the first of their two penalty goals in the 34th minute, taking the score to 10-3 in Ponsonby’s favour.

Moments later Vaha’akolo fielded yet another attempted touchfinder and took play back into the East Tamaki half. Play swept some 50 metres, with Patrick Tausie going very close. After play went to ground, the ball went wide across the field to Matt Foote who crossed in the right hand corner.

The home side goaled their second penalty just short of the halftime whistle.

Trainor crossed for his second try early in the new spell. William Talataina-Mu cleared from inside the Ponsonby 22, finding touch deep inside the East Tamaki territory. A quick throw in and then an attempted clearing kick fell sweetly for Trainor who set sail toward the line. Support was present in the form of John Cooper, who then returned the ball to Trainor to race beneath the posts. He converted his own try, stretching the lead to 22-6.

He registered his hattrick in the 53rd minute, picking up a well-timed Matai Fakautoki grubber kick, and racing to the line. Trainor again converted his own try, extending the Ponsonby score to 29-6.

Just two minutes later East Tamaki launched an assault on the Ponsonby territory, but spilled a pass close to the halfway mark. Tausie was swift to the loose ball, scooping it up cleanly and displaying a clean set of heels on a 50 metre run to the line, successfully staying clear of the would-be defenders. Trainor added the extra two points, taking the score to 36-6.

Ponsonby’s seventh try of the match was scored by Vaha’akolo, who was set loose 35 metres out, and had some work to do, but crossed out wide.

At 41-6 ahead Ponsonby had done the hard yards, but were unable to prevent East Tamaki from a significant advance toward their line. The move was judged to be dragged down short. The result was a penalty try in East Tamaki’s favour, and a Ponsonby man heading to the sinbin.

In the dying seven minutes, and with a man down, Ponsonby were still able to apply some extensive pressure to their opposites, and eventually Trainor crossed for his fourth try of the encounter.

With five minutes to run the referee decided that everyone needed a break, so he called full time.

Next week’s penultimate round of the competition promises to be a real cracker of a match when Ponsonby square off against Eden, in what is a first versus second place in the competition fixture at Western Springs Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Eden have been one of the top performing sides in the competition for the past two seasons and have taken numerous prized scalps. Eden had no trouble in the last round despatching Waitakere City by 71-5

Ponsonby underestimated the might of Eden in the 2017 season, going down by 27-17.

Fast forward to 2018 and Ponsonby faced Eden in the final of the Waka Nathan Challenge Cup just five weeks ago, and in what was a physical encounter the blue and blacks edged their neighbours by 34-30.

Back at home next week many will be hoping for a break from the rain that seems to fall on a Friday night nowadays, to provide club rugby with some better underfoot playing conditions.



Tries: Jordan Trainor 4, Matt Foote, Jamie Lane, Patrick Tausie and Freedom Vaha’akolo

Conversions: Jordan Trainor 3



1 Brice Schilling; 2 Steven Savali; 3 Wilson Lavelua; 4 Sam Slade;

5 Jamie Lane; 6 McCarthy Cocker-Filikitonga; 7 Matt Foote; 8 Tipolo Jr Faalogo;

9 Campbell Woodmass; 10 William Talataina-Mu; 11 John Cooper; 12 Aleni Ropati;

13 Patrick Tausie; 14 Freedom Vaha’akolo; 15 Jordan Trainor; 16 Matangireia Yates-Francis;

17 Herman Huch;  18 Connor Halangahu; 19 Moteivo Ngauamo; 20 Tatsuya Hamano;

21 Matai Fakautoki; 22 Cole Garrick                        





Last Saturday afternoon the Ponsonby Premiers journeyed to Colin Maiden Park in Glen Innes to tackle the current Gallaher Shield holders, University, in the fourth round of the 2018 club competition.

In what would always be a titanic tussle Ponsonby were on the end of a lopsided 2-1 penalty count, but were more convincing than the scoreline may suggest, running out the winners by 28-25. This was a match where Ponsonby made a clear statement about their intentions this season and so many players stood up and showed their class in this extremely exciting team. Ponsonby’s squad this week featured a couple of changes from the previous round. Inspirational loose forward, and former University player, Taina Fox-Matamua returned from injury to start, whilst Patrick Tausie had his first start of the season in the midfield.

Against University every man in the jerseys numbered from one to 22 played their part in a commanding performance. On attack Ponsonby were electrifying, and on defence they tackled as though it were the end of year grand finale.  The commitment in this fixture can be highlighted by the tremendous resilience displayed by seasoned campaigner Willie Uili, who suffered a nasty injury to his nose early on. After stemming the flow of claret and some running repairs, Uili returned to the field and carried on, only to succumb to the blood bin once again. This time some more permanent repairs were introduced in the form of some heavy black tape, leaving Uili resembling someone donning a mask. He played a huge part in the match, leading from the front and guiding his young peers to their domination at set piece and the lineouts.

University were brimming with confidence coming into the game, but an error right from the kick off saw Ponsonby on the board in the first minute with a penalty from Wiseguy Faiane.

The next ten minutes belonged to the hosts. A series of penalties in their favour were used for territory, and they then set up camp in the Ponsonby 22. The students eventually crashed over in the 11th minute, the try remaining unconverted.

The blue and blacks scored their first of four tries in the match in the 28th minute, and it was a long range effort, plus a delight for the spectators. University conceded possession deep inside the Ponsonby 22 area, and rather than kick for touch they opted to run. Play went wide to Freedom Vaha’akolo on the right wing, who set off on an exhilarating run down the touchline, stepping his marker and the opposition fullback with ease. Once inside University territory, he changed angle and headed infield, staying away from the defenders on his 70 metre dash.

A few minutes later another scintillating move was to prove fruitful. Ponsonby nabbed a University lineout 10 metres on their side of halfway. Play went left then right across the field, and after some clever interchanging between the backs it was Jordan Trainor displaying some blistering pace as he sped to the line.

The last few minutes of the spell included some contentious calls, as well as a yellow card to William Talataina-Mu. Additionally an attempted University penalty goal from a handy position in front of the posts failed, a miss that was to prove costly.

They did however succeed with a penalty goal a couple of minutes into the second half, taking the score to 13-8 in Ponsonby’s favour.

Through the period that Ponsonby were reduced to 14 men on the field they attempted some adventurous attacking play. During a backline move Trainor looked to kick to the corner, only to see the ball charged by a University man. As luck would have it the ball rebounded into the arms of Patrick Tausie, much to the surprise of the opposition. Tausie made a clean break through the midfield and offloaded to Trainor to race and score beneath the posts. Faiane added the additional two points.

In the 58th minute University were on attack deep inside Ponsonby territory, and whilst under penalty advantage they were able to sneak through to score beneath the posts.

With the scoreline a little close for Ponsonby’s liking they looked for ways to extend their lead. Grabbing a turnover just metres from their own goal line, they initiated a counter attack. After some excellent work from Trainor, play went right to Vaha’akolo who again stepped the defence on a 65 metre sprint to the line, finishing the move with a classic dive.

Faiane further extended the Ponsonby lead at 28-15 with a 40 metre penalty goal in the 67th minute.

University added two late tries, but Ponsonby held on to win by 28-25.

Past the halfway point of the round Ponsonby sits in second place on 19 points from four wins, with just one of the recognised heavyweights of the competition to play. They will now focus on their next assignment which is a visit to East Tamaki on their home ground in Otara. East Tamaki are yet to register their first victory of this round, having lost four from four, most recently being defeated by Waitakere City by 12-3. Whilst Ponsonby are likely to be too slick for them, East Tamaki tend to offer plenty of resistance when on their home ground.  To date East Tamaki has conceded 159 points from four games, being on the end of beatings by Pakuranga, University, Eden and Waitakere City. Ponsonby and East Tamaki last met in May 2017 at Western Springs, the blue and blacks the victors on that day by 67-21.


Tries: Freedom Vaha’akolo 2, Jordan Trainor 2

Con: Wiseguy Faiane

Pen:  Wiseguy Faiane 2



1 Conner Halangahu; 2 Willie Uili; 3 Herman Huch; 4 Motieva Ngauomo; 5 McCarthy Cocker-Filikitonga; 6 Nepia Fox-Matamua; 7 Aleks Dabek; 8 Taina Fox-Matamua; 9 Tatsuya Hamano;     20 Wiseguy Faiane; 11 Morrison Siliko; 12 William Talataina-Mu; 13 Patrick Tausie;                          14 Freedom Vaha’akolo;  15 Jordan Trainor; 16 Steven Savali; 17 Brice Schilling; 18 Samuel Slade; 19 Matt Foote; 10 Campbell Woodmass;  21 Aleni Ropati; 22 Cole Garrick;



Confidence was high in the Ponsonby camp going into the latest round of the Alan McEvoy qualifying competition. They had pulled off a last gasp win the previous week against Pakuranga, but this week they were facing a Marist side that were smarting after receiving an old fashion lesson In rugby in that past round by Eden.

Hopes of an open running and entertaining match looked to be dashed when the day dawned with torrential rain and blustery gales. Fortunately the rain did subside before the first whistle, so spectators did witness a reasonable clash in which Ponsonby were the victors by 29-3.

Ponsonby’s squad this week featured a number of changes from the previous round. Nepia Fox-Matamua, McCarthy Cocker-Filikitonga  and Willie Uili started in the pack, whilst the backline included promising Japanese halfback Tatsuya Hamano, Sione Fakapelea and Blues squad member Jordan Trainor, who had his first start of the season.

Both sides started strongly, and showed a willingness to run. Defensively each side was up to the task. It was Ponsonby that were first on the board with a penalty goal from a handy position from the boot of Wiseguy Faiane.

Much of the first spell was a dour affair with neither side able to gain any significant ascendancy. It was a case where possession changed hands on a regular basis and scoring opportunities were missed.

Marist had an opportunity late in the half to draw even on the scoreboard with a long range penalty goal, but the kick fell just short. William Talataina-Mu cleared from beneath the Ponsonby posts and from this point the blue and blacks launched an assault on the Marist territory. After several minutes on attack Ponsonby eventually crossed the goal line with McCarthy Cocker-Filikitonga scoring beneath the posts, which Faiane converted.

With the breeze at their backs Ponsonby started the second half positively and were able to string several good phases together. It wasn’t long before Jordan Trainor found a gap in the Marist defence and he strolled over the line untouched.

Marist slotted a handy penalty goal in the 54th minute of the match, their only points of the game.

Ponsonby’s third try of the game was scored by number eight Presley Tufuga. The blue and blacks had spent several minutes on attack, but were unable to penetrate the solid Marist defence. However they persisted and the points came.

In the final ten minutes of the fixture Ponsonby searched desperately for their fourth, and bonus point, try. Again the Marist defence was tough to breach. But the try came in the 76th minute when a scything Tufuga run, and excellent support from William Talataina-Mu, was finished off by Freedom Vaha’akolo.

Next week Ponsonby travel across town to Colin Maiden Park to face an old foe, University. In regular competition matches Ponsonby have been somewhat unlucky at Colin Maiden Park in recent seasons, but will be buoyed by their 27-20 semi-final win there a few weeks back in the Waka Nathan Challenge Cup. Last week University eventually swept Otahuhu aside by 52-5, but were made to work hard in the second half given the 5-5 score at the break.


Tries: McCarthy Cocker-Filikitonga, Presley Tufuga, Jordan Trainor and Freedom Vaha’akolo

Con: Wiseguy Faiane 3

Pen: Wiseguy Faiane


1 Conner Halangahu; 2 Willie Uili; 3 Herman Huch; 4 Motieva Ngauamo;                                             5 McCarthy Cocker-Filikitonga; 6 Nepia Fox-Matamua; 7 Aleks Dabek; 8 Presley Tufuga;                  9 Tatsuya Hamano; 20 Wiseguy Faiane; 11 Morrison Siliko; 12 William Talataina-Mu;                          13 Sione Fakapelea; 14 Freedom Vaha’akolo;  15 Jordan Trainor; 16 Steven Savali;                             17 Brice Schilling; 18 Tipolo Jr Faalogo; 19 Matt Foote; 20 McCarthy Cocker-Filikitonga;                10 Campbell Woodmass; 211 Aleni Ropati; 22 Cole Garrick;




Remembering Ponsonby v Marist Gallaher Shield Final 1993

Sunday the 8th of August 1993 is a day that will be forever etched in the memories of folk from the Ponsonby and Marist clubs for years to come.

The scene was Eden Park, number one field.

Two of the heavy weights at the time of the grassroots competition had successfully progressed to the Gallaher Shield Final – the prized trophy of Auckland club rugby up for grabs.

It was appropriate that Ponsonby and Marist were drawn to meet in the final, an event that had happened on so many previous occasions.

With a break in the International rugby calendar, Marist seized the opportunity to stack their starting XV with no fewer than seven current or past All Blacks, with the addition of four Auckland representative players.

Ponsonby’s head coach, Lin Colling was well known as a deep thinker with an immense rugby brain. Colling pre-empted Marist’s selection policy, so called upon Ponsonby’s several Western Samoan Internationals, plus the one available All Black. The result on paper was a very impressive Ponsonby side.

The blue and blacks played the match at a frenetic pace, scoring five tries in all. They starved Marist of possession, and kept the All Black laden side on the back foot for the full 80 minutes.

Ponsonby scored an incredible 38 points in the match, and did not concede a solitary point.

Prior to this Saturday’s match between Ponsonby and Marist there is an informal gathering at Western Springs which will feature several of the players that took the field that day in addition to speeches by the respective captains. The event will commence at the Western Springs clubrooms at 12.30pm with a complimentary light luncheon.

The bar will be open and everyone is most welcome to attend.


The two teams from 1993 were:


PONSONBY                                                         MARIST

15 Alfred Uluinayau                                        15 Shane Howarth

14 Brian Lima                                                     14 John Kirwan

13 Martin Stanley                                            13 Waisake Sotutu

12 Herati Matipo                                              12 Bernie McCahill

11 Vai’aga Tuigamala                                      11 Terry Wright

10 Darren Kellett                                              10 Paul Doubleday

9  Junior Tonu’u                                                9  Des Allen

8  Ross Thompson                                           8  Zinzan Brooke

7  Milton Froggatt                                            7  Matthew Webber

6  Shem Tatupu                                                 6  Pat Lam/Dylan Mika

5  Jason Chandler                                             5  Stephen Lancaster

4  Daniel Manu                                                  4  Robin Brooke

3  Nick Mantell                                                  3  John Akurangi

2  Mike Turner                                                   2  Rudi Kapeli

1  Peter Buffalora                                             1  Kevin Nepia  





Last Saturday’s second match of the Alan McEvoy Memorial Shield for Ponsonby saw them journey to Bell Park to tackle a belligerent Pakuranga side.

This contest went right down to the wire and featured a nail-biting final few minutes for both sides, but it was Ponsonby who dramatically snatched the win by 25-22 after trailing by 22-6 at the break.

A trip to Bell Park for a Ponsonby player and fan in recent seasons has not always been a pleasurable occurrence, but to experience such an emphatic come from behind victory is something that will be savoured for a long time. 

The Ponsonby coaching team made a handful of additions to the starting XV plus some positional changes, from that which had been successful against Waitakere City the previous week. Into the side came Conner Halangahu and Presley Tufuga, joining the forward pack, while Cole Garrick was named to start on the right wing. Once again, the energetic loose forward Aleks Dabek captained the side.

Spirits were high in the Pakuranga camp after seeing the two Premier Development sides compete in the curtain-raiser, which Pakuranga took by 50-17. Many felt that this may be the precursor of things to come.

Pakuranga had first use of a strong breeze, and they used it creatively.

Both sides had opportunities to register points in the opening 15 minutes, but errors were made at crucial times. Ponsonby were guilty of lineout throws not being straight, whilst Pakuranga blew a golden chance when a would be try scorer lost the ball from his clutches as he was able to dot down.

It was Ponsonby who were first on the board with a Wiseguy Faiane penalty goal from a handy position.

Pakuranga were the first to score a try, which came midway through the half when centre George Emosi, in his blazer game, strolled through some mediocre Ponsonby defence to score beneath the posts. Hawaii Ahokovi added the extra two points.

Buoyed by plenty of sideline encouragement, Pakuranga looked to be unstoppable. No sooner had they scored their first try, but they were determined to capitalise on their go forward momentum. They set sail down the right hand touch, and again exploited some deficiencies in the Ponsonby defensive pattern. The fullback Sam Shearer dotting down midway between the posts and the corner flag. The conversion in this instance drifted wide of the upright.

Behind by 12-3 on the scoreboard, Ponsonby were not helping themselves. In their haste to record more points they were conceding turnovers at crucial times, especially at lineout time, the breeze causing havoc during the lineout throw.

A few minutes short of the break Pakuranga crossed for their third try of the match, which was duly converted.

Faiane added a second penalty goal before the halftime whistle, but as the half was about to close, Ponsonby infringed and Pakuranga goaled from a handy position. At halftime Pakuranga had what seemed to be a commanding 22-6 lead.

Straight away from the second half restart Ponsonby infringed. Instead of accepting the three points on offer, Pakuranga chanced their arm and initiated an onslaught on the Ponsonby line. This attack lasted just over two minutes, and the blue and blacks emerged with their line intact.

Through the third quarter of the match, with the wind at their backs, Ponsonby tried valiantly to penetrate the Pakuranga defence, but their attempts were fruitless. The turning point in the match came in the 59th minute of the game, when Ponsonby were hot on attack and just metres from the Pakuranga line their left winger decided to disrupt the movement with an attempted intercept of a pass. Referee Angus Mabey deemed this to be a professional foul, and the winger earned himself ten minutes in the sinbin.

The ensuing penalty was drilled to touch, just five metres from the Pakuranga line. From the lineout, the forwards rallied round Willie Uili and he crashed over. Faiane could not add the extra two points, but Ponsonby were now in a position to strike.

Five minutes later Ponsonby looked hot to score again. From an attacking scrum a few metres from the Pakuranga line they constructed a superb move that saw replacement midfielder Sione Fakapelea carve through the defence and score beneath the posts, complete with a spectacular dive. Faiane converted, and Ponsonby were now just a few points behind at 22-18.

The last seven minutes of this match featured a tense spell that tested the nerves of the Ponsonby management and fans alike. This period of play saw Ponsonby set up camp deep in the Pakuranga half. The blue and blacks were masterful in the manner that they maintained possession. They dominated every facet of play for the dying moments of the match. They spent several minutes agonisingly close to the Pakuranga line, and attempted the ‘pick and go’ method on countless occasions, but the home side were equalled to the task. One side would inevitably crack. With time in the match virtually up, Ponsonby looked to be over the line, but Angus Mabey blew his whistle ruling a penalty in Pakuranga’s favour. Pakuranga were jubilant. They believed that they had the victory. But time was not up. From their line they cleared to touch and formed the lineout just shy of the 22 metre mark in their territory. But, they failed to win their throw to the lineout. Jamie Lane went high, stealing their feed. The ball went wide, and with a clever move by William Talataina-Mu, Ponsonby were in space and Freedom Vaha’akolo sailed through a gap to the line. An eerie silence reigned across the ground.  The sizeable crowd had been very vocal for the previous 79 minutes, but they were stunned.

Faiane converted the Vaha’akolo try, and Ponsonby had a 25-22 advantage.

All eyes were on the referee, expecting fulltime to be called.

But there was time to run. Pakuranga launched a last gasp effort on Ponsonby, but it was in vain.

Ponsonby had pulled off a Houdini act, and had the last say in the titanic tussle.

 They will now turn their attention to next week’s third round match against Marist at Western Springs Stadium. Marist started the competition in style with a nine try, 56-10 flogging of Otahuhu, but last week in the second round were brought back to earth when they went down to Eden by 47-15. Ponsonby played Marist on one occasion in 2017, with Ponsonby emerging from a tough encounter at Dunkirk Road by 23-21.


Tries: Willie Uili, Sione Fakapelea and Freedom Vaha’akolo

Conversions: Wiseguy Faiane 2

Penalties: Wiseguy Faiane 2



1 Conner Halangahu; 2 Steven Savali; 3 Herman Huch; 4 Jamie Lane; 5 Motieva Ngauamo;

6 Matt Foote; 7 Aleks Dabek; 8 Presley Tufuga; 9 Morrison Siliko; 10 Wiseguy Faiane;

11 Noah Mataia; 12 William Talataina-Mu; 13 Tili Puloka; 14 Cole Garrick; 15 Freedom Vaha’akola;

16 Willie Uili; 17 Brice Schilling; 18 Wilson Lavelua; 19 Tipolo Jr Faalogo;

20 McCarthy Cocker-Filikitonga; 21 Tatsuya Hamano; 22 Sione Fakapelea;




The Premiers kicked off their 2018 Alan McEvoy Memorial Shield competition last Saturday afternoon with a 58-3 win over Waitakere City. The blue and blacks scored ten tries in the demolition of the West Aucklanders and whilst the match was not always vintage rugby, the coaching team will be satisfied with the result and the five competition points.

The underfoot conditions would always be a factor in the match due to heavy rain leading to kick off. The inclement weather did subside before the opening exchanges, greatly aiding ball handling throughout the match.

Ponsonby were always going to have too much pace for the Waitakere City side, and the visitors cause was not helped when they lost a man to a ‘red card’ offence in just the sixth minute of the match. To their credit, they rallied on and played an expansive game, defending gallantly and disrupting Ponsonby’s game-plan regularly.

Ponsonby opened their scoring account in the third minute of the encounter when an attempted clearing kick by Waitakere City failed to find the touchline. Freedom Vaha’akolo, who was to become a dynamic attacking force from fullback in this game, gladly accepted the kick and took play deep into the visitor’s territory. Some good support followed and eventually space was created for Noah Mataia to stroll over in the left hand corner. The try went unconverted.

Vaha’akolo was a key in Ponsonby’s second try, when from an attacking scrum on the visitors 22 metre mark play went right and with an incisive break from the fullback, John Cooper was able to dot down in the right hand corner. This try also went unconverted.

Both playing ranks on the field were evened up midway through the first spell for ten minutes when Ponsonby lost Steven Savali to the sinbin for an infringement. During this period neither side was able to gain any ascendency, despite some promising attempts.

It wasn’t until the return of Savali to the onfield XV that Ponsonby were able to complete an assault on the visitor’s line. A driving maul to the line saw the skipper for the day, Aleks Dabek, emerge with the ball amidst a mass of bodies. The unconverted try saw the lead move to 15-0.

A few minutes later Vaha’akolo again was a key component in an attack on the visitors line. He made an incisive break down the right hand touch, freeing Cooper to score his second try of the afternoon.

Ponsonby’s one man advantage on the field was gradually becoming evident, as almost immediately another try scoring opportunity came, finished off by the lock Moteiva Ngauamo.

The sides turned at the break with Ponsonby leading by 25-0, having scored five unconverted tries.

Just one minute into the new half Ponsonby extended their lead further. From the restart by the visitors, an extensive interchange swept up the field. The move featured a clean break through the midfield by Tili Puloka, in addition to the handling and support of most of the forward pack, the 70 metre move was eventually finished off under the posts by Morrison Siliko. Cooper added the extra two points.

Ponsonby’s seventh try was scored by replacement hooker Willie Uili. Jamie Lane dragged the ball down from the lineout a few metres from the Waitakere City line. A rolling maul ensued, and as he has done so often in the past, Uili skilfully eased the maul to the line and crashed over. Cooper again converted, stretching his side’s advantage to 39-0.

The eighth try was finished off by the winger Cooper, who was enjoying the opportunity to run in the open spaces. A deft break by William Talataina-Mu, scything through the defence, and in support was Cooper who had come to the left hand side of the field to score his third of the match. The try went unconverted, and Ponsonby had now raced out to a 44-0 lead.

With 12 minutes to go, Waitakere City was awarded a penalty 30 metres out from their line. Rather than attempt a five or seven pointer, they opted for the three points on offer.

Talataina-Mu displayed his pace and skills when he sprinted down the right hand touch as one of the key contributors in his side’s ninth try. The extended move was completed under the posts by replacement tight forward Tipolo Jr Faalogo. Cooper added the additional two points, and the blue and blacks now lead by 51-3, and Cooper had bagged 21 for the match.

With time almost up, Ponsonby were awarded a five metre scrum, and as the scrum drove toward the line a Waitakere City forward saw the opportunity to disrupt the promising move. Referee Angus Mabey saw no option but award a penalty try.

Ponsonby will be encouraged by the 58-3 hiding of Waitakere City, and will be buoyed by the exciting talent in the 2018 ranks, which may see a selection headache or two for the coaching team and management. They will now focus their attention to next week’s opponent, Pakuranga, which is to be played on their home ground at Bell Park. Pakuranga had a satisfying 50-8 win on Saturday over East Tamaki at the East Tamaki Domain. Ponsonby did battle with Pakuranga on two occasions in 2017. The honours in the first encounter in April, played at Pakuranga, were taken by the homeside by 31-13. In the second, played in July at Western Springs, Ponsonby were the victors by 37-19.


Tries: J Cooper 3, N Mataia, A Dabek, M Ngauamo, M Siliko, W Uili, J Faalogo. Penalty try.

Con: J Cooper 3


1. R Cobb; 2. S Savali; 3. H Huch; 4. M Ngauamo; 5. J Lane; 6. W Riedlinger-Kapa; 7. M Foote

8. A Dabek; 9. M Siliko; 10. W Faiane; 11. N Mataia; 12. W Talataina-Mu; 13. T Puloka;

14. J Cooper; 15. F Vaha’akolo; 16. B Schilling; 17. C Halangahu; 18. W Uili;

19. T Jr Faalogo; 20. M Cocker-Filikitonga; 21. T Hamano; 22. S Fakapelea 


The 2018 season started positively for the Premier side when they successfully claimed the Waka Nathan Challenge Cup last Saturday afternoon, edging a belligerent Eden side in the final by 34-30. Ponsonby’s path to the final saw them trounce Manukau Rovers by 70-14 in the opening round back on the 17th of March, then a week later in the semi-final they overcame University in a thriller by 27-20. Eden were always going to be a tough opponent for Ponsonby, and they had progressed to the Waka Nathan Challenge Cup final with impressive victories over Suburbs and College Rifles.

Played at Fearon Park in Mt Roskill, Eden had first use of a blustery westerly breeze, and for much of the first spell they used it creatively.

But it was the blue and blacks that registered the first match points when Connor Halangahu barged over in the second minute.

Eden responded within minutes with a converted try. An attempted Ponsonby clearing kick from their 22 metre line was charged down by Eden first five eighth Adrian Lole, who successfully pounced on the ball before it drifted over the dead ball line.

Eden further extended their lead to 13-5 with a two penalty goals and with the advantage on the scoreboard and the wind at their back Eden were showing some tremendous determination.

However a miscued pass during an Eden attack saw possession shift Ponsonby’s way, and the result was a gem of a try. The ball bounced off the legs of an Eden tight forward into the arms of the Ponsonby midfielder Sione Fakapelea who placed a well-timed kick ahead for the speedsters to chase. The winger Johnny Cooper displayed some blistering pace to beat the covering defenders to the line for the try, which went unconverted.

Jamie Lane was a dominant figure in the lineouts, and he neatly claimed the restart following the Cooper try. A superb passage of play which extended some 50 metres ensued, including some excellent work by the livewire flanker Aleks Dabek. The entertaining move was finished off by Taina Fox-Matamua who touched down alongside the posts. Cooper added the extra two points, putting Ponsonby back in front on the scoreboard at 17-13.

Shortly before the break Jamie Lane was shown a yellow card, which allowed Eden to capitalise. They crossed in the right-hand corner, which the fullback Max Leaana converted with ease from the sideline.

Early in the second spell Eden further extended their lead to 23-17 with another Leaana penalty.

As the spell progressed Ponsonby started to gain some ascendency over the very physical and resolute Eden side. It was not until the 15th minute of the half that Ponsonby were able to crack the Eden defence with a well worked try from a five metre scrum. Play went wide to the unmarked replacement Noah Mataia who crossed for the five pointer.

Eden held onto their slender 23-22 advantage approaching the ¾ mark in the match, and a missed penalty goal at that time from a handy location was to prove costly.

William Talataina-Mu joined the team from the bench in the final quarter and immediately added some impetus. A superb break freed Patrick Tausie for a well-constructed try, which Cooper converted, giving Ponsonby a 29-23 lead with ten minutes to play.

In the final moments of the match Wiseguy Faiane placed a clever crossfield kick behind the defence for Cooper to run on to. The right winger once again outpaced his opposites, and pounced on the ball in the right-hand corner.

Eden managed to cross for a late converted try, but Ponsonby had successfully done the hard work and secured the 34-30 win in emphatic style.

Ponsonby will now turn their attention to the opening round of the Alan McEvoy Memorial Trophy which commences next Saturday afternoon at Western Springs Stadium. Based on the exciting talent that will be wearing the blue and black hoops in 2018, Ponsonby’s fixture against the first up opponent, Waitakere City, is sure to be an entertaining match.



Tries: Johnny Cooper 2, Connor Halangahu, Taina Fox-Matamua, Noah Mataia and Patrick Tausie

Conversions: Johnny Cooper 2







Falcons Logo.png

NZ Falcons are seeking passionate and self-motivated Coaches for the 2018 season. Applications are now open for dedicated rugby people willing to make a contribution to New Zealand's only gay and inclusive rugby team. We are looking for inspirational people seeking a rewarding experience who can meet the challenges of coaching or managing a diverse and wide ranging group of players.

Formerly known as the Ponsonby Heroes, the NZ Falcons were established in 2013. They currently play in the Auckland Rugby Union President’s grade but have strong ambitions to play at a higher level.

In June, The NZ Falcons will be sending players to the biennial Bingham Cup held in Amsterdam, which hosts inclusive clubs from around the world.

Desirable candidates will be able to demonstrate:

  • A proven coaching record with evidence of developing players across a range of abilities, including those who are new to the sport.
  • Innovative and current coaching methods
  • Excellent organisational and communication skills
  • The ability to create a positive and enjoyable environment
Falcons Team.jpg

Remuneration package is available and will be dependent on the coach’s skills and experience.

For more information regarding the NZ Falcons head to

Applications close Saturday 31st March 2018

Please forward expression of interest and CV to:

Nathan Kemp - Director of Rugby                             Email:


NZ Falcons seek Manager


Falcons Logo.png

The NZ Falcons are seeking a passionate and self-motivated team manager (or managers) for the 2018 season. We are looking for dedicated, friendly people who are keen to contribute to New Zealand's only gay and inclusive rugby team. 

The NZ Falcons were established in 2013. In 2018, they will play in the Auckland Rugby Union First Grade for the first time as they seek to drive and develop themselves. 

Each year they contest the trans–Tasman Purchas Cup against three Australian clubs. However, in June 2018, the team will travel to Amsterdam to compete for the international Bingham Cup, which is an exciting milestone for inclusive rugby in New Zealand.

We are looking for inspirational people who are seeking a rewarding experience. Desirable candidates will be able to demonstrate:

·         Excellent organisation and communication skills

·         The ability to create a positive and enjoyable team culture and environment

·         Relatability, patience and a willingness to go the extra mile for the team 

Remuneration is available to reward your commitment and passion for our team. 

For more information regarding the NZ Falcons head to


Applications close Friday 16th March 2018

Please forward expression of interest to:

Nathan Kemp - Director of Rugby                             

NZ Barbarians Golf Day

BB Glof.jpg

NZ Barbarians Golf Day is being held to raise funds for NZ Rugby Foundation which supports our severely injured rugby players (our VIP’s).

The fundraising Golf Day will take place on Friday 16th March at the prestigious Akarana Golf Club on so you can be certain the course conditions will be superb.

For registration detail or Sponsorship opportunities please contact  - Ken Baguley, Secretary, NZ Barbarian Rugby Club at -

Senior Preseason Fixtures

For all senior preseason fixtures, please head to our club events page which will be updated regularly.

Saturday 3rd March:

  • Senior Men vs Massey & East Coast Bays @ Massey RFC 1.30pm

Saturday 10th March:

  • Senior Men & U20's vs North Shore @ Takapuna Grammar School 12pm
  • Under 85kg's vs Karaka @ Karaka RFC 1pm

Saturday 17th March:

  • Waka Nathan Round 1 - Premiers v Manukau @ Waitemata RFC #2 3.15pm
  • Premier  Developent & U20's vs Takapuna RFC @ Hato Peterea College, Northcote 12pm
  • Under  85kg's 10's Morrinsville Tournament @ Morrinsville RFC

Saturday 24th March:

  • Waka Nathan Round 2 - Premiers & Premier Dev vs TBC
  • U20's vs Massey @ Massey RFC 12pm
  • Under 85kg's Champions Cup @ Patumahoe RFC 12pm

Saturday 7th April:

  • Waka Nathan Round 3 - Premiers & Premier Dev vs TBC

Saturday 14th April:

  •  Fillies vs ECB @ East Coast Bays RFC 12pm



Senior Men training

Due to Western Springs Outer Fields being unavailable until the end of March, Senior Men's training will be at various venues. All trainings start at 6.30pm

  • Tuesday 27th February & 6th March: Meet at Coyle Park near the toliet block (Pt Chevalier Beach)
  • Thursday 1st March & 8th March: Cox's Bay Reserve (Field #3 which is around the corner)
  • Tuesday 13th & Thursday 15th March: Western Springs Stadium Field
  • Tuesday 20th & 27th March: Ponsonby Tan (indoor training facility at WS)
  • Thursday 22nd March: Mt Albert Grammar School (bottom fields)

All training returns to Western Springs Outer Fields on Thursday 29th March.

Our U20's have their first trial game tonight against an Argentinian U19 team 7pm at College Rifles (33 Haast St, Remuera). All players wanting to trial need to meet at College Rifles at 6pm. Please bring all playing gear and mouth guard,

Play Restricted Rugby! Join our Under 85kg Rugby teams now

If you are close to 85kg and are keen on getting back into rugby, learning the game or possibly challenging for a position in the 2017 ARU champions team the 'Hustlers'  then get in touch with Nathan Lawrence 021 876491.

In 2018, Ponsonby Rugby Club aim to have two teams in the Restricted grade so will need plenty of players.

The first preseason trial is 10th March vs Karaka @ Karaka Rugby Club. 

A squad will be chosen to compete for the Champions Cup (see info below)

85 Champs vs Champs (002).jpg