9 March 2006

The last round of the Soffe Cup before the semifinals takes place tomorrow.  The top two teams, Hooker Pacific Pukekura and Sandfords Manaia play each other at Pukekura.  Manaia are favoured to win having beaten Pukekura 13-3 in the first round.
In the men's singles, the top match is between Manaia's Jason Mills and Zac Wills which Mills should win although he only won in the third set tie-break the last time they met. The rest of the matches are likely to be Thomas Luxton and Meto Snegirev, Cameron Koch and Ben Aves and Alaister Murdoch and Nick Steventon. Manaia should win all of those.
Manaia are also favoured in all the women's matches with Taranaki's top two players, Nicole Koch and Linda Reid playing each other, Koch won in three sets in the first round. In the other matches Aleisha Ford plays Donna Thorne, with Ford also winning in three sets last time they met. Cindy Death plays Kirsten Adam and Irene Cruikshank plays Jeanette Harding.
The third and fourth placed teams, Midhirst and Accent on Curtains Waiwaka play each other at Waiwaka. In the first round Midhirst won 10-6, but the result could go either way this time.
The top men's singles is between Taranaki and Waiwaka No 1, Aaron Hine playing Taranaki No 6 Jono Ussher. Ussher won last time so Hine will be out to even the score. The No 2 match is between Taranaki No 4, Chris Popata and Michael O'Sullivan which Popata should win comfortably.
Taranaki  No 4 Nicki Martin should repeat her win over Lyn Stanners in the top women's match while Jayden Bruce will have to step up to No 2 as Clare Fairey has gone overseas. Bruce will probably find it too tough against Shelley Childs.
In the remaining match Kaponga should win against a Stratford side which has struggled all season.