Ponsonby has won its 34th Gallaher Shield for Auckland premier club rugby supremacy.
The 35-23 final victory over old rivals University at Eden Park before a crowd of 2748 was well-deserved and reflected its hunger and ability to strike at key moments.
In all, Ponsonby now has 49 senior championships in its 144-year history.
On the back of a Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa double, 20 points by right wing Johnny Cooper and a tigerish display at the breakdown, Ponsonby now have possession of three of the four Auckland premier club trophies. Along with the coveted Gallaher, they also have the Alan McEvoy Memorial Shield and the pre-season Waka Nathan Challenge Cup in the clubrooms of their Western Springs base.
This was Ponsonby’s first appearance in the decider since 2011, when it won the last of eight straight championships. No 10 Rocky Khan, who has played sevens for New Zealand, was the sole Ponsonby survivor from that starting line-up and he offered some much-needed control for his team this afternoon.
In the curtainraiser, Grammar TEC confirmed its status as unbeaten Under 20s qualifier by edging Pakuranga 32-18 to win the ARU Challenge Cup final.
College Rifles beat University 29-12 to take the Premier Development (reserve grade) final.
In the Jubilee Trophy final, Pakuranga were able to run over the top of Suburbs to secure a 52-33 victory.
The Portola Trophy final went to Papatoetoe in spite of a 22-all draw, while in the Presidents Cup, Waitakere City defeated Te Papapa 17-15.
- Gallaher Shield – FINAL
- Ponsonby 35 (W Riedlinger-Kapa, T Fox-Matamua, J Cooper, D Tuisitala tries, J Cooper 3 conv, J Cooper 3 pen)
- University 23 (H Munro, A Duckett, U Fetalaiga tries, B Helleur conv, B Helleur 2 pen) Halftime: 17 – 13
- Jubilee Trophy – FINAL
- Pakuranga 52 (G Taina, N Osaka 2, S Shearer 2, L Menoa 2 tries, H Ahokovi 4 conv, H Ahokovi 3 pen)
- Suburbs 33 (C Donell-Brown, L Cunis, T Tairea, G Maka, E Thompson tries, C Perry 3, B Moyer conv) Halftime: 27 – 19
- Portola Trophy – FINAL
- Papatoetoe 22 WIN (A Samoa, L Faaui, DLeuila tries, D Leuila 2 conv, D Leuila pen)
- Marist 22 (T Katoa, R Ipiniu, S Rayasi tries, J Saena 2 conv, S Rayasi pen) Halftime: 7 – 8
- Presidents Cup – FINAL
- Waitakere 17 (J Rimoni, A Savea tries, E Fidow 2 conv, J Rimoni pen)
- Te Papapa 15 (T Vea, U Fakakovikaetau tries, U Fakakovikaetau conv, U Fakakovikaetau pen) Halftime: 17 – 0
- Premier Women’s – SEMI FINALS
- College Rifles 68 vs Ponsonby 5
- Manurewa 10 vs Marist 15