There’s nothing quite like a one point loss to fortify and motivate a team.
Some three weeks ago Pakauranga United Rugby Club’s Premier Development Squad went down 33-32 to a fired up Ponsonby side.
That really irked Pak and on Saturday the squad made sure there was no doubt as to which team ruled. Pak not only dominated its nemesis but it clinched the season’s honours winning the George Nicholson Cup Final with an emphatic 39-18 victory.
Coach Chad Hopa is, understandably, stoked. “It’s been a long season and the boys did the job,” he said.
“We knew it would be battled especially after they scored first. I think narrowly losing that last game, it become quite mental.
“When the pressure came on we were able to stay composed.”
The team was happy to share the joy with friends and family at the club. “We had a cheeky couple of beers in the changing rooms and opened the doors up and premier guys and key members of the club came down to celebrate the accomplishment.
And what an accomplishment. A try not long before the break sealed the win. Pak had an 18-7 lead. “Just before half-time we scored a long-range try and I think that broke a lot of Ponsonby hearts.
The win was sweeter as it was at home. “the support was phenomenal,” said Hopa.
George Nicholson Cup Final – Premier Devlopment (39) v Ponsonby (18). Tries: Charlie Gibson x1, Aula Silipa x1, Sione Lolohea x1, Paula Maama x1, Cam James x1, Will Rew x1. Conversions: Cam James x3. Penalties: Cam James x1. Player of the Day: Sione Lolohea.
Bowl Final – Under 20s (24) v Waitemata (21). Tries: Matt Horgan x1, Obey Samate x2, Simon Fauoo x1. Conversions: Obey Samate x2. Player of the Day: Morgan White-Chambers.
Peter Hall Cup Semi-final – First Grade (79) v Ponsonby Eps (22). Tries: Josiah Tairua x2, Scott McEwen, Damian Lydford x2 Blake James x4, Shaun Kohlhase x1, Nick Craggs x1, Benjamin Channing x1, Penalty Try x1. Conversions: Blake James x5, Sean Robb x1, Josiah Macnamara x1. Player of the Day: Sean Dalton.
Taipans (14) v Marist (15). Tries: Lance Talbot x1, Mike Taylor x1. Conversions: Jason Littlefield x2. Player of the Day: Lance Talbot.
Gallaher Shield Final
University 39 (U Fetalaiga, M Renata, A Ripata, S Lawson, L Dunshea, T Elkington-MacDonald tries, T Elkington-MacDonald 3 con, T Elkington-MacDonald pen)
Suburbs 18 (B Tuivai, J Fa’anana-Schultz, S Vatubua tries, C Perry pen) Halftime: 13 – 5
Jubilee Trophy Final
Eden 75 (B Lam 5, K Shepherd, M Leanna, T Malupo, B Hill, J Rutherford, J Tamatoa, R Taavoa, I Costa tries, I Costa 3, N Costa 2 con)
Grammar Tec 28 (T Milo, J Hickey, K Taimone, S Thomas tries, J Hickey 4 con) Halftime: 44 – 0
Portola Trophy Final
East Tamaki 31 (G Crichton 4, T Silipa tries, T Iosua 3 con)
Papatoetoe 10 (M Pauta, J Tafili tries) Halftime: 14 – 0
Presidents Cup Final
Otahuhu 16 (A Paulo try, S Paulo-Tialavea Morris con, S Paulo-Tialavea Morris 3 pen)
Mt Wellington 13 (T Vainikolo try, L Fosita con, L Fosita 2 pen) Halftime: 3 – 10