Special rugby match to honour NZ Māori rep, Jimmy Grbich

Old rivals Pōneke and Oriental-Rongotai went head-to-head in a special match to commemorate New Zealand Māori rep and stalwart for the Pōneke club, Jimmy Grbich and it was a battle that went to the wire.

It's a game that's been around a long time, 50 years in fact.  But it's not just a game of rugby, both teams know its significance.

Whetu Henry from Oriental-Rongotai explains, "Jimmy Grbich was his name.  He played for Pōneke but the shield was from someone from the Ories club."

Doug Jones from Pōneke says, "The Jimmy Grbich Shield is very special to us.  It's the battle of the cutting between Pōneke and Ories."

Like previous years, it was a battle, one team getting over the advantage line.

In the second half, the home side Pōneke was leading but the gap closed after a turn over which led to another Ories try.

In the final minutes, despite Pōneke still ahead by two points, the visitors never gave up and snatched the victory and the Jimmy Grbich Shield with this penalty. 

Henry says, "That was a hard game but we gave it our all right to the end, that's the main thing."

Pōneke also felt the intense competition today.

Jones says, "It was hard before and it's still hard today so the standard is definitely rising."

But regardless of who won this year, Jimmy Grbich was again honoured on the footy field.