Accustomed to a place at the top of the table in recent seasons, defending champions Puaikura and this year’s Round Cup competition champions Tupapa Maraerenga will play what will perhaps be the match of the season.
The pair have met once in the round cup competition and it was Tupapa Maraerenga who won that match. After stumbling out of the blocks this year, Puaikura find themselves playing catch up due to Tupapa Maraerenga’s flying start.
Puaikura’s slow adaptation to Tupapa Maraerenga has played a part in their struggles of late.
However, the return of their leader in midfield Anthony Samuela, and their drive for revenge should inject some creativity and more offence into the game.
Samuela’s men will do everything they can to trip up the black and white powerhouse.
Tupapa Maraerenga have swept aside everybody so far this season and confidence appears to be coursing through every single player.
Given the talent in Tupapa Maraerenga’s squad, Campbell Best, Graham Viking, Grover Harmon, and Geoffery Strickland together constitute one of the most prolific attacking units in the competition.
If Puaikura are looking to walk away from Saturday’s game with a win, they will need to contain this attacking threat.
Puaikura’s defensive combination featuring Matangi Matangi, Jarvis Aperau, Temata Karika and Farii Moekapiti will be just as crucial for the team as on the other side of the pitch, with Kimiora Samuela, Paavo Mustonen and Pekay Edwards leading the way up front.
The away side will be energised for this match, with the memories of last season’s successful championship year still fresh in their minds.
The strikers and central defences of both teams could decide the game.
The home side remain undefeated and won’t want to lose that record to their local rivals, so it’ll be a cagey affair.
- CIFA Media
Nikao Sokattak FC vs Titikaveka FC at Nikao Field: 12.30pm - Under 14 Girls (Ref: Noel Mani, Assistants: Dora Iripa, Emilie Pierce), 1.30pm - Under 14 Boys (Ref: Matthew Browne, Assistants: Angelina Mitchell, Emilie Pierce), 2.30pm - Senior Women (Ref: Maara Kaukura, Assistants: Noel Mani, Mata Iroa), 4.00pm - Premier Men (Ref: Maara Kaukura, Assistants: Mata Iroa, Tehinaah Tatuava). Tupapa Maraerenga FC vs Puaikura FC at Victoria Park, Tupapa: 12.30pm - Under 14 Girls (Ref: Amnish Prasad, Assistants: Moeroa Harmon, Dawn Bryson), 1.30pm - Under 14 Boys (Ref: John Pareanga, Assistants: Kataraina Piri, Terry Piri), 2.30pm - Senior Women (Ref: Lai Gukisuva, Assistants: Kataraina Piri, Amnish Prasad), 4.00pm - Premier Men (Ref: John Pareanga, Assistants: Terry Piri, Lai Gukisuva).