Puaikura have a lot to prove and coach Spoon Masters says it’s not going to be a walk in the park.
“Being a new face in this sport I have faced many challenges but that’s no excuse. Working alongside a bunch of guys, each having their own individual skill in soccer is slowly giving us a fair idea of what danger this team can bring to this competition but it's a work in progress,” Masters said.
“Things may not look too good on form or on the points table as we see today but that isn't our place to question. When it's our time, then it's our time, it’s not about being the top or the best team it's about expressing the passion we have for the game.
“We have changed our preparation tactics for this match and have decided to focus more on mentally preparing ourselves.”
Tupapa Maraerenga is leaving no stone unturned in a bid to gain the maximum points from the match.
Coach Tuka Tisam explains: “We had a slow start to the season but we’ve managed to come back up through hard work and training. Our match with Puaikura this weekend will be tough. We drew to them in the first round and we are on their home turf this weekend.”
In their last encounter, Puaikura’s Jarves Aperau and Tamaiva Mateariki played key roles in defense. The duo will need to show the same determination to thwart the Tupapa forwards when the two sides meet today.
For Tupapa, the Harmon brothers, Grover and Lee, have proven impressive in the midfield. The pair will need to bring out their best game to break down a strong Puaikura defense.
In the senior women’s division, the Puaikura and Tupapa will hope to pick up some momentum after a dismal form.
They both sit side by side on the points table and are capable of putting each other away however, it will come down to who has prepared the best for this match.
Meanwhile in the other premier match, Titikaveka will take on Avatiu at the Swamp. Avatiu fell to Titikaveka in the first round and the side hasn’t enjoyed a good season so far.
Titikaveka on the other hand will need to turn their season around to remain within striking distance of competition leaders Tupapa Maraerenga and Nikao Sokattak. A win today will put them back on track.
Avatiu Field: Avatiu FC-Titikaveka FC – 12.30pm Under 14 Girls (Ref: Ua Savage, Assist: Angelina Mitchell, Junior Savage), 1.30pm Under 14 Boys
(Ref: Robert Savage, Assist: Eitiare Tangirere, Penina Katuke), 2.30pm Senior Women (Ref: Tahiri Elikana, Assist: Junior Savage, Angelina Mitchell), 4pm Premier Men (Ref: Robert Savage, Assist: Tahiri Elikana, Kura Smith). Raemaru Park, Arorangi: Puaikura FC-Tupapa Maraerenga FC – 12.30pm Under 14 Girls (Ref: Kura Smith, Assist: Ngametua Taringa, Teretia Teinaki), 1.30pm Under 14 Boys (Ref: John Pareanga, Assist: Nicky Smith, Edmund Tupuna), 2.30pm Senior Women (Ref: Terry Piri, Assist: Pierce Iripa, Edmund Tupuna), 4pm Premier Men (Ref: John Pareanga, Assist: Pierce Iripa, Teretia Teinaki)