With a game in hand and an unbeaten run throughout the Van’s premier men’s competition, Puaikura FC looks all set to take out the 2016 championship title and gain a berth at the OFC Preliminary Championship next year in Tonga.
The side undoubtedly have proven to be a strong contender throughout the season.
Out of the nine matches played, Puaikura have drawn one and won eight.
Winning their remaining games in the competition is crucial if they want to remain on top.
If this is the case and they do indeed win the Round Cup title, it will be Puaikura FC’s second time in the OFC Preliminary Championship. The side qualified for the tournament back in 2014.
This weekend, the premier men leaders will face Takuvaine who are following closely behind on second.
For defending champions Tupapa Maraerenga, it has become virtually impossible to retain the title especially after going down 1-2 to Puaikura last weekend.
It will be a tough pill to swallow for the Delaney Yaqona-coached squad, especially after their “almost’’ successful campaign at the OFC Preliminary Championship in January.
Whether it was just tough luck, or misfortune, it has certainly not been the best year for the team in black who have recorded four losses already and are sitting third.
With the championship now out of the equation, Tupapa will need to shift their focus on the knockout competition to have at least a title hope by the end of the year.
But it’s looking pretty good in the other divisions for Tupapa who are dominating the Islander Hotel senior women, BSP Under-14 girls and boys and Prime Foods U11 mixed categories.
In the Hori Signs U17 men’s division, defending champions Nikao Sokattak is sitting pretty at the top on 30 points, with Tupapa Maraerenga following on second and Takuvaine on third.
Today at the Avatiu Field – Avatiu FC-Tupapa Maraerenga FC – 4pm Under 14 Girls (Ref: Noel Mani, Assist: Graham Viking, Amene Urirau), 5pm Premier Men (Ref: Mike Mouauri, Assist: Robert Savage, Noel Mani).