4 Dec 2014

Soffe Cup Round 6 Preview - 6 Dec 2014

Defending Soffe Cup champions, AWE Huatoki find themselves leading the Soffe Cup competition after round five following a big win against Rotokare.  Huatoki will be expecting another big win when they travel to fourth placed Hareb Deken Oakura this week and may be expecting their women to lead the way.  Oakura have the firepower in the women this week to repel that challenge, fielding their best female lineup this season.  18 year old Sophie Robertson (Huatoki) will start at the top of the order and will compete against 16 year old Danni Fletcher.  This is shaping as one of the matches of the round and victory could go to either participant.  Hikaru Han (No.2) takes on Sue Oldfield in what will be another tight match.  Tracey Old (No.3) will probably have to succumb to Bailey Bruckner and Ellen O'Byrne (No.4) will probably have to bow to the experience of Jackie Keenan.  Huatoki have a consistent lineup of men with Alistair Nairn, Murray Keast, Chris Avery and Quinn Rosa.  Oakura are still finalising their men's lineup and would need their best team to show to have a chance of winning some matches.  Huatoki will probably secure a win but it shouldn't be too one-sided.  

Third placed Farmlands Okaiawa/Manaia host Thomson O'Neil Stratford at Okaiawa and will be looking for a good result to make up ground on the leaders.  The Okaiawa/Manaia men look to have the overall advantage.  Mark Laurence has been in dominant form and is expected to continue this when he plays Andy Roberts.  The feature match in this tie will be the No.2 matchup between leftie Vince Baylis and the astuteness of veteran Bruce Cleland, which is likely to go to the younger opponent.  Okaiawa/Manaia No.3 Josh Murdoch and No.4 Rhys Butler will be too good for Grant Kite and Chris Thwaites respectively.  The home sides' women should win the No.2 match with Capree Wineera against Mylie Thwaites and the No.3 match with Carolyn Jackson against Reagan Boland, however Stratford could strike back with wins at No.1, Lynn Stanners (Stratford) playing Grace Kelly, and at No.4 with Maree Kydd (Stratford) competing against Georgia Jackson.  If the matches go to a third set, expect Okaiawa/Manaia to secure the wins in these matches.  Doubles matches may be shared but expect Okaiawa/Manaia to dominate the combines for a comfortable victory.     

The remaining tie pits second placed Pukekura Park away to neighbor, sixth placed Rotokare.  The highlight of this tie will be the No.1 women's match between Karen Cranston (Rotokare) and Louise Waite.  Waite won their only previous match two seasons ago in three sets and she has only improved with age since then.  Pukekura's Linda Reid will also have a victory against Jane Symons at the No.2 match but then Rotokare will hit back in the form of Julie Foley at No.3 against Rebecca Wormald.  The No.4 match between Helena Goodin (Rotokare) and Nell Hernandez could go either way.  The Pukekura men's lineup of Meto Snegirev, Shaun Alborough, David Barnard and Thomson Matuku will look ominous to their opposition.  Expect Rotokare to obtain a victory at No.1 with Leandro Fossa but it's hard to see Kyle Crowley, Shane Devlin or John Lehman gaining a singles win.  Pukekura will win a large majority of the doubles matches and will secure a big victory and possibly the overall Soffe Cup competition lead after Saturday.