The New Zealand Barbarians U85 Club Cup Quarter Finalists have been found after the last first-round matches were played on Saturday.
The pick of the bunch was the all-Auckland affair, where the Ponsonby Hustlers saw off Grammar TEC Old Boys 17-6 at a blustery Cornwall Park.
With the wind at their backs, Grammar TEC took the early advantage after fullback Noel Green slotted two penalties in the first quarter.
However, the Hustlers kept plugging away and eventually took the lead before half-time thanks to a penalty try coupled with a converted try and penalty to first five James Murray.
Despite the wind advantage at the change of ends, Ponsonby assistant coach Nathan Lawrence says they couldn’t add to their lead as Grammar TEC poured the pressure on down the final stretch.
“It was a tight battle – it always kind of is. Even though we had the wind in the second half we weren’t able to score, and we spent a large chunk of it defending but we managed to hold them out,” Nathan says.
They’re the only team that’s beaten us in the last two years, so we certainly owed them one.
In the other two games, the Auckland University Squids were clinical in a 41-6 victory over Patumahoe at Colin Maiden Park, while the Eden Lizards trounced Counties-Manukau top guns Waiuku 80-3 at Rugby Park in Waiuku.
The Cup Quarter Finals will be played this weekend, with two each in Auckland and Wellington.
The Semi Finals will be played on October 31, with the Final likely to be played in Auckland on November 7.
*Article written by Dan Tasker