13 Dec 2013
Fine weather is forecast this weekend with Soffe Cup reconvening after a two week break for Rep games. Hareb Deken Oakura hosts Central Finance Rotokare, Naki Racquets Puekura host AWE Huatoki while Farmlands Okaiawa travel to play Sandfords Manaia.
Teams are still struggling to field their top teams with injuries or work commitments taking players away. Howeve,r this gives young players the chance to show their wares, with two players making their Soffe debut.
Huatoki have Amrit Rai back to take on Jaime Simpson who is in top form at present. Alastair Nairn lines up against Chris Jury, which should go Jury's way. Murray Keast at 3 will look to frustrate Pukekura's hard-hitting Brady Simpson, while Chris Avery will likely play Pukekura's German import, Florian Freidrich. Both women's line-ups look evenly matched. Huatoki's Alice Caskey at No.1 will play Kirsten Adam and this will be a close match. At No 2, Sophie Robertson will look to run Donna Thorne around the court to blunt her power and the result could go either way. Ellen O'Byrne & Tracey Old face up to Pukekura's Chantelle Peters and Michaela Spurdle respectively, with Spurdle in good form and hard to beat.
Third placed Rotokare travel to competition leaders, Oakura, this weekend. With some of Oakura's top men's players unavailable, it will be close and the outcome could come down to the combines. Oakura's Graeme Mitchell will be at No.1 however, against a re-juvenated Ben Pollard, in what could be a close match. At No. 2, Len Adamson will have his hands full against German, Andre Lundt, while Craig Waite and Heydon Young will take on Rotokare's experienced Malcolm Elder and Kyle Crowley respectively. In the women's, Oakura will have the edge with dependable Sue Oldfield at 1, taking on Frances Gray while ex-rep player Miaana Walden and Jackie Keenan should ease past Rotokare's Julie Foley & Helena Goodin. Chris Davies should be too consistent for young Hannah Trevis.
Manaia at home will be a tough ask for Okaiawa, even with Jordan Fleming unavailable. Cameron Koch moves up to No.1 for Manaia and should account for Andrew Powell. Beauden Fleming & Jacob Gopperth will be evenly matched against Okaiawa's Hamish Mead and Mark Laurence, while debutant Alex Gawler is an unknown quantity versus the wily, left-hander Vincent Baylis. In the women's, Nicole Koch at 1, should breeze past Emmah Ussher. Maree Gopperth & Trudy Vince against Jaimee Baylis & Aroha Beattie should go Manaia's way, as well as Grace Kelly over Laurel Stockman.