10 Feb 2017

This weeks Soffe cup sees a top of the table clash between Huatoki and Pukekura who are currently only separated by 0.75 points for the Soffe cup lead.  Third placed Oakura battle fourth placed Pihama with Okaiawa/Manaia hosting Rotokare in the final tie.

Huatoki look to have the edge in the men's with Ajeet Rai, Jayden Harrison, Alistair Nairn and Kristian Revfeim playing David Barnard, Mike Erb, Andrew Hood and Sasha Milentijevic-Vague.  Pukekura will be looking to try to secure one game out of these matchups with the most closely fought likely to be the fourth spot between Revfeim and Vague.  In the women's, the opposite is the case with Pukekura fielding Louise Waite, Nikayla Barnard, Linda Reid and Ella Rogers versus Ellen O'Byrne, Tracey Old, Chris Wilson and Lorraine Heerdegen.  Pukekura would likely favour themselves to take at least three of these with Huatoki hoping to pull one back with Heerdegen versus Rogers.

The Oakura v Pihama tie also looks likely to be closely matched.  At the last meeting Pihama's Jordan Fleming beat Jaime Simpson so Simpson will be looking for revenge.  In the other men's games, Oakura look to be the stronger side with Graeme Mitchell, Brady Simpson and Len Adamson playing Beauden Fleming, James Padilla and Matt Symons.  The women's look too close to call with Pihama's Paris Butters likely to be untroubled at the top versus Miaana Walden but competitive games likely between Pihama's Maree Gopperth, Grace Kelly and Tara Butters versus Jackie Keenan, Ana Spurdle and Chris Davies.  Pihama are introducing doubles specialists Grant Gopperth and Rob Haveswood so will be hoping fresh legs get some wins for them here.

Okaiawa/Manaia are fielding a strong men's lineup this week with Hamish Mead, Mark Laurence, Vince Baylis and Josh Murdoch set to meet Rotokare's Blair Crowley, Bill Husband, Derek Edwards and Ben Fitzgibbon.  This looks like tough work for Rotokare and the only encounter here that could swing there way is likely to be Blair Crowley although he would have to bring his A game to overcome Hamish Mead.  Rotokare will look to pull back points in the women's matches with their consistent lineup of Chantelle Peters, Tania Atkinson, Brittaney Carr and Julie Foley matched against Carolyn Jackson, Lauren Mekallick, Aroha Beattie and Helen Johnston.  Overall on paper Okaiawa/Manaia look to have an edge and will hope to pull themselves off the bottom of the table this week.