2 Dec 2016

Table leaders Pukekura are away to Stratford, Okaiawa/Manaia host Huatoki and Pihama host Oakura in this week's Soffe cup games.

Pukekura are fielding a full strength women's lineup with Louise Waite, Nikayla Barnard, Linda Reid and Ella Rogers likely to dominate Stratford's Mylie Thwaites, Kristin Lourie, Katie Stanners and Anna Hutterd.  The men's Pukekura team overall look to be stronger than Stratford so the score is likely to favor the table leaders Pukekura and enable them to hold this position.

Okaiawa/Manaia will be hoping to use their home court advantage against Huatoki however the lineups look to favor Huatoki.  Jayden Harrison returns to the No1 men's spot for Huatoki and will look to defend his unbeaten record against Mark Laurence.  Alistair Nairn at No2 will play Vince Baylis and this could be a tight battle.  Huatoki's Murray Keast drops back to the No3 position which is more familiar territory for him versus Josh Murdoch with the final match between Kristian Revfiem and Alistair Murdoch.  The game score could well is even at the end of the men's singles but Huatoki's consistent women's lineup of Marcella Jones, Ellen O'Byrne, Tracey Old and Chris Wilson could well be too strong for Okaiawa/Manaia's Carolyn and Georgia Jackson, Lauren Mekalick and Helen Johnston.  Huatoki will be looking for all the points they can muster to climb their way back up from 5th position on the ladder before the end of the first round in two weeks' time.

Oakura are travelling to Pihama with a full strength ream with Jaime Simpson, Graeme Mitchell, Brady Simpson and Matt Stringer to meet Pihama's Jordan and Beauden Fleming, Rob Haveswood and James Padilla. The top men's match could be a close encounter with Jordan Fleming possibly too strong for Jaime Simpson but Oakura are likely too strong in the other men's games.  In the women's Pihama's Paris Butters will meet Oakura's Sue Oldfield with Butters the likely winner.  Pihama have Soffe cup debutante Ngakuira Osbourne from Wanganui playing at No2 and she will meet Bailey Bruckner.  Oakura again look too strong for Pihama in the No3 and 4 women's spots with Jackie Keenan and Chris Davies over Tara Butters and Brianna Matthews.  Oakura are likely to have a healthy lead after the singles and will hope to build on this advantage in doubles and combines to stay in touch with table leaders Pukekura who are yet to have their bye this round.