NZRL Bartercard Cup Round 7 kicks off tomorrow with only four points separating the top eight teams. The Lions, Bulls and the Jetz head the table, followed closely by the Tigers, Brothers, Raiders, Wellington and the Falcons.
With only nine rounds remaining after this, the four bottom placed teams, Otahuhu Ellerslie, Tornadoes, the Bears and the hapless Stallions, are going to need to hit top form with some urgency.
The round begins tomorrow at Ericsson Number 2, in the match between the Tornadoes and the North Harbour Tigers. The Tigers gave the Falcons an absolute thrashing in their last outing and the Tornadoes will need to work very hard on their defence to avoid receiving similar medicine.
The remainder of the games are played on Sunday, with the first cab off the rank being the game between the under performing Glenora Bears and Otahuhu Ellerslie. Only three points separate these two but the Otahuhu side appeared to hit their straps in their win against the Raiders in Round 6. I still believe the Bears will improve and this one could go either way at Waitakere Stadium.
Central Falcons against the Marist Richmond Brothers in Palmerston North should prove to be an entertaining affair. The Falcons coming off their heavy defeat by the Tigers and the Brothers on a high after handing the Lions their first defeat of this competition. A difficult one to pick, but this relatively new Brothers side looks like it�s starting to gel.
Christchurch hosts the game between the Bulls and the Wellington outfit. These are always tough encounters. It�s always hard to beat the Bulls at home but this Wellington side are travelling along well, with their young stars, Josh Davis and Simon Mannering both playing well. The battle between the outside backs in this game would be almost worth paying for a plane ticket to the Garden City to watch.
The Stallions face off against the Counties Manukau Jetz in Hamilton at Resthills Park. What can you say about this Waicoa Bay side - individually, there are some fabulous players in their team, Te Teira Davis, Hayden Karena and Sam Rapira, just to name a few. They just can�t seem to get it together on the day. The Jetz will take this one with ease.
The game of the round will be the curtain raiser to the Warriors, between the Mt Albert Lions and the Hibiscus Coast Raiders. The Lions will be out for a big win to celebrate their Coach, Brian McClennan, being named as Kiwi Coach yesterday. The Raiders, on the other hand, will be out to show their ex Coach, McClennan, that they can beat his team. If full back and �go to� man, Daniel Floyd, fires as he normally does, then they could well be right.
If you are going to the Warriors, get there early and watch this game. It promises to be a cracker.
Saturday 11 June 2005
Eastern Tornadoes vs North Harbour Tigers Ericsson Stadium No.2, Auckland 2.30pm Kick Off
Sunday 12 June 2005
Glenora Bears vs Otahuhu Ellerslie Waitakere Stadium, Auckland 1.00pm Kick Off
Central Falcons vs Marist Richmond Brothers Levin Oval, Palmerston North 2.30pm Kick Off
Canterbury Bulls vs Wellington Rugby League Park, Christchurch 2.30pm Kick Off
Waicoa Bay Stallions vs Counties Manukau Jetz Resthills Park, Hamilton 2.30pm Kick Off
Mt Albert Lions vs Hibiscus Coast Raiders Ericsson Stadium No.1. Auckland (C/R To Warriors vs Storm) 2.05pm Kick Off