15 Nov 2013

Round 3  of  Soffe Cup, cracks into action this Saturday with the battle of the Titans, Naki Racquets Pukekura at home take on front runners, Hareb Deken Oakura; Central Finance Rotokare host Farmlands Okaiawa while  AWE Huatoki host Sandfords Manaia.

Manaia have Taranaki Women's No 1, Nicole Koch, back this week and she should easily tame Huatoki No. 1,Sophie Robertson.  Maree Gopperth at 2, will take on Huatoki's Chris Wilson who won't be easy. Trudy Vince will have to be at her retrieving best to outpoint Pukekura No.3 Hikaru Han  while it should be a close battle between Grace Kelly and Huatoki No. 4, Tracey Old.  Manaia's No. 1 Jordan Fleming should get past Al Nairn easily, but his running mate, Cameron Koch is unavailable.  Beauden Fleming  will have to take on Dave Innes and his slice.  At 3and 4,  Manaia's Jacob Gopperth  and Josh Murdoch  will come up against  tough Murray Keast  and Chris Avery; the outcome could go either way in both matches.  Manaia should clean up in the doubles and combines in a close encounter.  

Oakura will find out if they are the 'real deal'  when  they take on defending champs Pukekura.  Pukekura No. 1, Jamie Simpson, will be in for a tough day at the office as he faces professional coach Oakura's No 1 Kurt McNamara.  Chris Jury at  No. 2 will battle it out with  Graeme Mitchell, in an evenly matched contest.  At 3 & 4 , Pukekura's Matt Bayly and Brady Simpson will relish the experience but probably not the outcome, to play against Oakura's Cam Wenham & Craig Waite.  Pukekura's  women's line-up will  have Kirsten Adam  at No. 1 to face Sue Oldfield, while Linda Reid  will have her hands full with Paula Ferguson.   Pukekura's Chantelle Peters and young Michaela Spurdle will test Oakura's Bec Roberts and Chris Davies with a result likely to go either way.  It could come down to the doubles where  Oakura might have the edge. 

Rotokare  are again down slightly in strength this week  but should still prevail over a tough Okaiawa side.  Ben Pollard is out this week leaving Malcolm Elder to take on Andrew Powell in the men's No.1 match.  Kyle Crowley at No. 2,  may just sneak past Okaiawa's Mark Laurence, while  Greg Hareb, playing at 3,  will look to contain Okaiawa's unbeaten Vincent Baylis.  Rotokare's big serving Shane Devlin  should make short work of Ryan Stockman.  In the women's, Karen Cranston should win over Okaiawa's No 1, Amelia Weir, having her first match of the season.  The balance of the women's matches should go Rotkare's way, with Frances Grey, Julie Foley and Debbie Campbell having an even chance against their opponents, Michelle Powell,  Emma Ussher, and Vicki Roberts.  Rotokare should take the doubles and combines but this is Okaiawa's strength and they will be out to do damage of their own.