National club rugby results from the 14th and 15th of March, 2015.
(Waka Nathan Challenge Cup)
Ponsonby 43 Manukau 14
Papatoetoe 37 Pakuranga 22
University 27 College Rifles 10
Waitemata 16 Grammar TEC 7
Eden 40 Marist 7
Waitakere City 29 Suburbs 14
East Tamaki 36 Maungarua 24
Onewhero 31 Te Kauwhata 13
Papakura 22 Drury 5
Pukekohe 27 Patumahoe 18
Manurewa 39 Weymouth 3
Ardmore Marist 30 Waiuku 29
Bombay 19 Karaka 18
Bombay's pack took control in the second half to enable the defending McNamara Cup champions to open their season with a tight 19-18 win over 2014 finalists Karaka.
Karaka led 15-8 at the break thanks to tries by No 8 Siulongoua Fotofili and second five Ross Turnbull, not to be confused with the former Wallaby prop and WRC proponent who died last week.
Despite the committed work of flanker Penitoa Finau and halfback Sione Olive, Karaka was gradually worn down and suffered when Fotofili was yellow carded. Their dangerous backs were denied ball in the second spell.
For Bombay, prop Sam Aiono was in dominant mood, while there were top games from halfback Liam Daniela, who scored a try, and openside Hamiora Clarke, a real chip off the old block, son of former Steelers flanker Te Rau Clarke. Fullback Reece Joyce kicked three penalty goals in his 50th premier game for the club.
Bombay thus retains the Counties Power Cup, up for grabs in every competition game the holder plays.
Elsewhere, Manurewa shot to the top of the log with a 39-3 defeat of Weymouth, Mark Talaese helping himself to 19 points. Onewhero picked up a bonus point with a 31-13 win over Te Kauwhata, and Papakura beat Drury 22-5. Pukekohe secured the win in a tense local derby, 27-18 over Patumahoe.
Karl Ropati scored a try and kicked three goals as Ardmore Marist narrowly edged Waiuku 30-29, for whom former NZ Under 20s wing Armyn Sanders scored a double, and James Faiva racked up 14 points.
Bay of Plenty
Tauranga Sports 20 Te Puke Sports 16
Mt Maunganui 28 Rangataua 18
Greerton Marist 28 Te Puna 27
Otorohanga 40 University 25
Melville 56 United Matamata Sports 22
Hamilton Marist 33 Hamilton Old Boys 18
Hautapu 40 Fraser Tech 25
Te Awamutu Sports 24 Morrinsville Sports 17