Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
5 days ago
The first game of the third round of NZ's Bartercard Cup, is the curtain raiser to the Bulldogs / Warriors NRL clash where the home side Wellington takes on their neighbours from the South Island, the Canterbury Bulls.
Wellington are yet to have a win in the competition, and with the Bulls going down heavily last week, this will be an interesting game.
Home ground advantage is a real asset and it may be just that advantage that Wellington will have to net the two points that they will be desperate to get.
Manurewa Marlins host the Central Falcons at Leabank Park on Saturday at 2.30pm. After the Falcons victory over the Leopards in round 2 they?ve served notice that they mean business. The Marlins have had a win and a loss so far and both their matches have been high scoring affairs.
North Harbour Tigers travel to New Plymouth on Saturday to play Taranaki again at 2.30pm. This will be a true test for the Tigers to play so far away from home. Taranaki have already suffered some heavy defeats, so I'm sure the team would like to put up a show at their home ground.
On Saturday Marist Richmond Brothers play Glenora at Murray Halberg Park. Glenora have clearly made grounds on where they were last year. The Marist side can produce some sparkling touches at times. If they?ve managed to shore up some of their defensive weaknesses they will be a hard team to beat for anyone.
The game of the round is on Saturday at Stanmore Bay when the local side, Hibiscus Coast Raiders, take on the Eastern Tornadoes. Both teams have scored two from two and look to be in pretty good form so far. This is the first home game for the Raiders who so far have looked impressive with fullback Daniel Floyd already netting 100 points in just two games. Halfback Aspin, has been directly play well, and will have the Eastern team working on defence.
Mt Albert travels out to Otahuhu on Sunday. The Leopards are yet to score a competition point after two rounds and will be keen to reward their strong supporter base on the weekend. However it?s most unlikely that they?ll achieve that over the 2002 premiers.