Crunch time for Sumner as they prepare for final

Max Thomas shows the commitment Sumner will need as they try to make it three colts’...
Max Thomas shows the commitment Sumner will need as they try to make it three colts’ championships in a row on Saturday. PHOTO: TONY BRUNT PHOTOGRAPHY
A halftime "chat" proved to be the catalyst which propelled unbeaten Sumner into the final of the Metropolitan Colts competition.

Sumner brushed aside High School Old Boys 36-8 to set up a rematch of last year’s final against Marist Albion on Saturday, and set its sights on a third consecutive title.

The match against HSOB was switched from St Leonard Square to McCormacks Bay, but that proved no obstacle in a clinical mauling.

But it wasn’t plain sailing for Sumner in the first half as they struggled to break HSOB tough defence, leading 10-8 at the break.

Coach Ben Gorst said HSOB’s “stoic defence” was a big factor in the tightly contested first half.

Mitch Shaw on his way to the tryline. PHOTO: TONY BRUNT PHOTOGRAPHY
Mitch Shaw on his way to the tryline. PHOTO: TONY BRUNT PHOTOGRAPHY
Fullback Jack Forrest said Sumner didn’t help themselves. “We put ourselves under unnecessary pressure,” he said.

Sumner’s first points came from silky handling of the greasy ball to set up winger Max Thomas in the corner before his wing partner, Will Chunn, had the opportunity to showcase his electric speed in the opposite corner just several moments later.

Gorst and Forrest said the turning point came during the half-time break, where the side were questioned if they had the ‘‘desire to win” and were asked “who wants it more”.

Quickfire tries in the second half from hooker Conner Newton and flanker Mitch Shaw set the tone from the get-go. While Newton displayed raw strength for his try, intelligent passing allowed flanker Shaw to demonstrate a clean pair of heels down the sideline for another five-pointer.

The energy was further lifted when Newton crossed for his second via a rolling maul, which makes it his second brace of tries within the last two games. The final stamp came from the prolific prop Jack Jones, burrowing over from close range and knocking his tally up to 17 tries for the season.

Gorst said he was confident in his side’s ability to win.

“The challenge in front of us will be big, we will be ready,” he said.

  • Sumner v Marist Albion will kick off on Saturday at 2.45pm at Nga Puna Wai's field 2.

-By Fin Ocheduszko Brown

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