17 Mar 2006

It is the Soffe Cup semifinals tomorrow with the top two on the points table, Sandfords Manaia and Hooker Pacific Pukekura expected to win against Midhirst and Accent on Curtains Waiwaka respectively.
Manaia lost to Midhirst when these sides met in the first game of the second round. Expect the tables to be reversed this time. Midhirst were fielding two reps form last season, Chris Brown and Kathryn O'Sullivan who won't be playing tomorrow.
Manaia were also missing a few key players.
The expected match -ups are : Manaia's Jason Mills -undoubtedly Taranaki's top player but unavailable for rep matches - hasn't lost a game all season, will play Jon Ussher who has only lost one game all season and that was to Mills.
The rest of the matches should go Manaia's way with Thomas Luxton playing Michael O'Sullivan, Alaister Murdoch playing Val Cleaver or Stephen Uhlenberg and Michael Gates playing Neil Kingston.
Manaia's women should not be troubled by the Midhirst side. Nicole Koch will play Lyn Stanners, Aleisha Ford will play Shelley Childs and the No 3 an 4 matches are between Cindy Death and Marlene Foreman and Davina Mills and Liz O'Sullivan.
Pukekura defeated Waiwaka 9-7 three weeks ago so there isn't much between the two sides. On that occasion Pukekura's women won all their singles while Waiwaka won all the men's singles.   
 Waiwaka's line-up is unknown but it appears one of their top two players, either Aaron Hine or Chris Popata will be missing, weakening their side considerably. Pukekura's No 1, Zac Wills will want to turn the tables on Aaron Hine (if he plays) who won in three sets last time. If Wills plays Popata he should win.  No 2 Ben Aves will play David Geange in what should be a close match. 
No 3  Rhys Sutton will play Meto Snegirev and No 4 David Chamberlain will play Nick Steventon with Pukekura favoured in those two matches.
Pukekura's line-up of Linda Reid, Donna Thorne, Kirsten Adam and Jeanette Harding have been unchanged in all but one game all season and are their strength. They are expected to repeat the result from last time. Reid will play Nicki Martin, Adam will play Glenda Frost while Harding will play Alison Chamberlain.
Waiwaka are weakened without their No 2 Clare Fairey who has gone overseas. Jayden Bruce will play Donna Thorne with Thorne favoured.
In the Wilson Trophy ( A Grade Division 2), Okaiawa is expected to beat Manaia at Hawera Lawn. Okaiawa, who were relegated from the Soffe Cup after the first round, defeated Manaia 11-5 when these sides met three weeks ago.
The match between Matapu and Huatoki, being played at Te Ngutu and Kapuni could go either way. Although Matapu won 11-5 last time they met, they have their top two men out.