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Title race intensifies

Saturday 14 November 2009 | Published in Regional


The shortened football season has intensified the race for this year’s Edgewater Senior Men’s Round Cup.

Because of fewer games there is less room for error, and when title contenders Nikao and Tupapa take on Arorangi and Takuvaine respectively, in today’s fixtures, both can ill afford to drop any points.

Nikao Sokattak have yet to hit top gear this season and would be foolish to underestimate the threat posed by Arorangi, who are high in the standings, but lack the cutting edge to be serious title contenders.

Goal difference could be the deciding factor in this year’s championship, therefore Nikao coach Alex Napa will need to ensure that his players are fully stimulated to play full out for 90 minutes, and not resort to the casual approach which they showed in the latter stages of their previous game against Titikaveka.

Tupapa will welcome back Campbell Best and Paavo Mustonen for their game against Takuvaine at Victoria Park.

Although the men from the valley will be highly motivated and play with much spirit, it is difficult to foresee them being able to compete for the full 90 minutes against their more illustrious neighbours.

Takuvaine’s best hope of gaining something out of the game will be to defend well and strike Tupapa on the counter attack.

Tupapa coach Jimmy Katoa has a few niggling injury worries, resulting from last week’s torrid game against Avatiu.

However, with their ability to open the game to the flanks combined with the speed and trickery of Best and Roger Manuel, Tupapa should cause a lot of problems for Takuvaine, and come away with the 3 points. - Striker

Following are today’s soccer draws and referee appointments.

Nikao Sokattak vs Arorangi at Nikao – 1.20pm U13 boys, Ref-Maara Kaukura, assisted by Josephine Vaireka and Tino Napa, 2.10pm U14 girls, Ref-John Pareanga assisted by Ua Aberahama and Tuteru Nikoro, 3pm women, Ref-Robert Savage assisted by Ua Aberahama and Tino Napa, 4.30pm premier men, Ref-Maara Kaukura assisted by John Pareanga and Robert Savage.

Tupapa vs Takuvaine at Tupapa – 1pm U13 boys, Ref-Aturangi Hosking assisted by Melanie Wilson and Junior Arioka, 1.50pm U16 boys, Ref-John Paul Wilson assisted by Paavo Mustonen and Rachael Aiturau, 3pm women, Ref-Lai Gukisuva assisted by Tutai Taurarii and Junior Arioka, 4.30pm premier men, Ref-Teariki Goodwin assisted by Mike Mouauri and Tutai Taurarii.