All will be determined following today’s crucial match - as they face-off against Nikao Sokattak at Victoria Park in the final stage of the Round Cup competition.
The defending champions’ hopes of mounting a serious title challenge were trashed as they lost four times in the season, going down to Takuvaine and Puaikura twice in a row.
Delaney Yaqona’s side did, however, retain the belief they could finish runners-up to Puaikura and so avoid an unwanted match in the knockout stages next week. While they face a gruelling encounter this afternoon, the Mii Joseph skippered-side will be heading into the match as favourites and need only to win or draw against the Alex Napa outfit.
This will see their sitting improved to second - as Takuvaine’s spot is not guaranteed with their one-point difference.
In the last Tupapa versus Nikao Sokattak encounter, Yaqona’s strikers put two goals past the James Osiramo-skippered defence to win the match.
Without question the men in black will want to put Nikao away for the second time, but it is going to require some reinforcements - with the side having to miss the experience of their main striker Campbell Best, Sunai Joseph in defense and attacking midfielder Souleymane Cissko.
A pre-game team talk from Yaqona will be crucial to how the team will play out today’s match. Nikao on the other hand have no reason not to win today’s important game.
The side have all the ingredients to make for fast-and-fluid football and if their plan of attack is executed correctly they could indeed gain their first victory over arch-rivals Tupapa.
This will see the side skip ahead two spots to take the runner-up spot, while Yaqona settles for fourth placing.
All-in-all it will be the match to watch in this weekend’s fixture with plenty of quality football to be expected at Victoria Park.
Saturday, 26/11/16 at Victoria Park - Tupapa Maraerenga vs Nikao Sokattak: 12.30pm, Under 14 Girls, Ref: Kimiora Makitae, Assist: Tanisha Tangimetua, Graham Viking.
1.30pm , Under 14 Boys, Ref: Robert Savage, Assist: Graham Viking, Tanisha Tangimetua.
2.30pm, Senior Women, Ref: Kimiora Makitae, Assist: James Nand, Mata Iroa.
4pm, Premier Men, Ref: John Pareanga, Assist: Robert Savage, Maara Kaukura.
Puaikura vs Titikaveka:
12.30pm, Under 14 Girls, Ref: Lai Gukisuva, Assist: Jake Browne, Pierce Iripa. 1.30pm, Under 14 Boys, Ref: Noel Mani, Assist: Emilie Pierce, Amene Urirau. 2.30pm, Senior Women, Ref: Matthew Browne, Assist: Amene Urirau, Emilie Pierce.
4pm, Premier Men, Ref: Tupou Patia, Assist Noel Mani, Lai Gukisuva.