By Dan Tasker
Marist Old Boys (MOB) and Kahukura have both progressed to the third round of the U85kg National Club Cup after tightly-contested wins in Auckland on the weekend.
In an all-Auckland affair, MOB got up against home side the Grammar TEC Taniwhas 27-19 at the Orakei Domain on Saturday, a bit of an upset considering the Taniwhas sit sixth in the Auckland U85 competition ahead of the 10th place MOB.
It won’t get any easier for MOB in round three though, where they will bar up against current Auckland U85 leaders the Auckland University Debt Collectors for a place in the quarterfinals against the Takapuna Bombers.
Across the big smoke at Bell Park, Bay of Plenty club Kahukura showed their pedigree in this competition to beat the Pakuranga United Black Panthers 33-27 on Sunday, a massive result considering the Panthers currently hold fourth in Auckland club rugby.
Kahukura will once again be stiffly tested in their third-round match against Counties-Manukau club Karaka, given the Razzlers have already knocked over 2020 finalists the Auckland University Squids and the 2021 finalists the Tukapa Bantams in the early rounds.
The winner of that clash will face the Upper Hutt Rams in the quarterfinals, after the Rams got home by the skin of their teeth in their round three match against Wellington rivals and local club frontrunners Johnsonville 26-25 at Maidstone Park in Upper Hutt on Saturday.
Also in Wellington at Kelburn Park, the Old Boys University Scallywags squeezed an 18-17 victory against fellow Wellington top four club the Poneke Wanderers on Saturday.
It ends Poneke’s run of consecutive knockout cup quarterfinals in 2020 and 2021, as the Scallywags march on to face the winner of the southern conference derby between the High School Old Boys Light Bears and 2021 cup winners the Southern Bush Pigs.
U85kg fixtures this week
Auckland University Debt Collectors 34 v Marist MOB 7
10/08, Colin Maiden Park
Hamilton Marist Bulldogs v Ponsonby Pikeys
13/08, 2:45pm, Marist Park
Melville v College Rifles Bombers
13/08, 1pm, Collins Road
Karaka Razzlers v Kahukura
13/08, 3pm, Karaka Rugby Club
High School Old Boys Light Bears v Southern Bush Pigs
14/08, 1:30pm, Waimate RFC