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In the Premier grade championship semi finals it was a game of two halves in both fixtures. Silverdale sparkled in the first half with a 20-0 lead and the Silverdale faithful on the deck had written the script for a big win in the second half with the wind but that script didn’t make it to the Marist inbox. Scott Uren’s boys fought back into a stiff breeze to nearly take the game with the loosies cleaning out and the mid-field backs on fire down the flanks. ‘Dales defence scrambled desperately with little or no ball in the second half for their classy backs and the Marist supporters cranked up the noise but the difference was the kicking made difficult by the wind, and ‘Dale carried the day to make their 4th appearance at NH Stadium courtesy of a Matt Clark penalty. Western Pioneers were down 23-5 and looked out to a physical and composed Takapuna side at half-time but the Westies came roaring back in the second half to win 25-23. Takapuna used slick passing and width to score some great tries to achieve the ominous first half lead but with the Tuigamala brothers leading from the front, Western scored three unanswered tries in the second half with a particularly classy touch-down to current Premier grade top try scorer Richie Ah Chong and carried the day to book their first final at NH Stadium. Not only the ASB Championship Cup is on the line but the Country Cup will also be contested.
In the Premier Plate semis’, Massey recovered from a disastrous season to defeat plucky Glenfield at Kaipatiki 23-14 and North Shore reversed the result at their last meeting put away Bays 24-14. In the Bowl final Mahurangi travelled south to thrash Northcote 30-0 and take the silverware.
In the Senior 1st grade Championship semi’s front runners East Coast Bays cleaned up Marist 33-3 and North Shore just beat Northcote 24-19. In the Senior 1st Plate semis Takapuna beat Silverdale away 18-15 and Massey won by default over Western. Mahurangi claimed the Senior First Bowl with a 34-18 win over Glenfield at Warkworth.
Jimmy Tuiviati is tackled as support arrives from Mark Haldane and Taione Vea
Phillip Tuigamala makes a break supported by his brother Nalu
Finals at North Harbour Stadium 28 July:
Premier Championship – Silverdale vs Western Pioneers – 3.00pm (NHS)
Premier Plate – Massey vs North Shore – 2.30pm (NH Oval)
Senior 1st Championship – East Coast Bays vs North Shore – 1.15pm (NHS)
Senior 1st Plate – Massey vs Takapuna – 12.45pm (NH Oval)