Last time these two teams met, the Panthers emerged victorious 23-18, a score that reflects how little separates these two teams.
Although the Panthers are still unbeaten, the Eels have looked like the best side in the competition since that loss, with their devastating backline cutting loose anytime their opponents have given them an inch.
The Panthers have an equally potent back three, but have had a number of close calls, most recently last week in their 19-15 win against the Titikaveka Bulls.
In this match, look for both teams to throw the ball around and try and capitalise on their electric backlines.
Panthers have a back three that are incredibly dangerous in space, while the Eels have a centre combination that excels in tight space.
Ultimately, this game may be decided in the forwards, where front foot ball and strong scrummaging will be needed to give either backline that extra punch.
In the other matches, the Bulls will face off against Takuvaine Reds, who have established themselves as the primary challenger to the top two teams.
At Arorangi, the home team Cowboys will finish off their four game home stretch against the Ngatangiia/Matavera Dragons.
Tupapa Field - The Bond Store – Game of the week – Tupapa Panthers-Avatiu/Nikao Eels – 4pm: Senior A (referee: Pare Rongokea, assistant referees: Ben Koteka/ Kora Kora); Titikaveka Field – Titikaveka Bulls-Takuvaine Reds – 4pm: Senior A (referee: Tua Ngaputa, assistant referee: Paul Allsworth/ Simiona Teiotu); Venue: Arorangi Field – Arorangi Cowboys-Ngatangiia/Matavera Dragons – 12.30pm: 6–12yrs: “Get into Rugby” Programme – all clubs (boys and girls) are welcome to attend, bus transport will be provided and a sausage sizzle will be afterwards, 2.30pm U13 (referee: Club Officials), 3pm: U19 (referee: Peter Godfrey, assistant referees: Club Officials-Hosting & Visiting), 4pm: Senior A (referee: Junior Takairangi, assistant referee: Dawn Crummer / Peter Godfrey).