Premier Men advance to Hardham Cup Final

Our Premier Men have won a nailbiting semi final against Poneke and will play Petone in next week's final.

Played on a stunning winters afternoon the semi final against Poneke was a seesaw affair with the lead changing multiple times.

Poneke struck first scoring in the first five minutes before a MSP penalty narrowed the scoreline to 3-5. Step up Ben Tuiatua in his 50th Premier game, who returned a kick from halfway to step through the Poneke defence to take the lead. Two Poneke tries before halftime saw the Street Kids take a 16-22 lead into the break.

The Red Machine came out with more intent in the second half and scored almost immediately with a try to Tuga Mativa. Now trailing by 21-22, it took another 15 minutes before Logan Love himself sprinted 50 metres through the Poneke defence to take the lead at 26-22.

Poneke would take the lead once again with five minutes to play through a try in the corner. For the next five minutes it looked as though Poneke would take the game as they controlled most of the ball - but the home side had one more push in them. Getting back into the Poneke 22, the referee blew a penalty in front of the posts which was duly taken by Love to give Marist St Pats a 29-27 lead which they held onto in the final possession off the kick off.

It may not be the cup they started the season seeking, but a final against old rivals Petone will be a compelling way to end the season!

Earlier, our Colts went down 14-28 to Oriental-Rongotai in their quarter final. They now move into the Vic Calcinai Memorial Cup playoffs and will play Upper Hutt Rams next week.

Our Premier 2 Men saw their season end early with a 20-32 semi final loss to Poneke at Kilbirnie Park.

The Internationals finished their first round competition with a 31-19 win over Upper Hutt Rams 'Pirates' and finish in fourth place with nine wins, three losses and a draw. They move into the playoffs next week.

The Presidents had a close 24-29 loss to Johnsonville. The Under 85s had a bye.

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