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Fowlds Park Auckland, home to the Mt Albert Lions, is the only park on Saturday to catch some Bartercard Cup action.
The Lions are sitting comfortably, two points clear, at the top of the table and they should fairly easily grab another two tomorrow, when they match up against early cellar dwellers, Waicoa Bay. The Stallions are yet to post a win after three rounds, yet that elusive two points cannot be far away. Not this weekend though.
The remainder of the NZRL National competition takes place on Sunday and brings some very tasty clashes indeed.
North Harbour Stadium brings together old rivals, North Harbour and Hibiscus Coast, in a local derby. Additional spice in this one as these two teams also battle out for the Ted Dalton Memorial Trophy. The Dalton Memorial was struck back in the mid nineties following the untimely death of, much loved Northcote Club Captain, Ted Dalton. "Ted" is currently residing "at home" in the Northcote Club but the Raiders will be more than keen to take him back up to the Peninsular. Both these teams faltered last week and it's too hard to pick a winner.
Waitakere Stadium hosts the Glenora Bears and Counties Manukau Jetz. The Jetz, after a disastrous first round against the Tigers, have managed to find a bit of form, winning two and lying sixth on the table. The Bears managed to get a point in their drawn game against Wellington, at home last weekend, but are yet to post a win. The Jetz will probably be strong enough to keep them out.
Otahuhu Ellerslie and the Central Falcons face off at Ericsson Stadium. The Falcons remain in third spot on the table, despite their eight point loss to the Canterbury Bulls last week. Probably fair to say that the early success of the Falcons has been a bit of a surprise, but Coach, David Lomax, must be happy with it. The Otahuhu Ellerslie franchise has been hit with a host of injuries and have been struggling. I suspect the Falcons may resume their winning ways on Sunday
The Windy City's Porirua Stadium sees the local side take on last seasons losing Grand Finalists, Marist Richmond Brothers. The Brothers are a different looking side this year, but certainly hit form last week when they toppled the Tigers. Wellington only managed a draw against the Bears. A difficult one to pick. It's always hard to win in Wellington, but I think the Auckland side in a close one.
Canterbury Bulls fans will be at Rugby League Park in Christchurch to watch their team test out the Eastern Tornadoes. The Tornadoes grabbed their first win last week against the Stallions, but this will be a much sterner test for them. If it's hard to win in Wellington, it's often near impossible to beat the Bulls at home......a big win to the Bulls.
Just by the way....take absolutely no notice of my selections. Astute readers will have noticed that I didn't call even one correctly last week. Saturday 7 May 2005
Mt Albert Lions vs Waicoa Bay Stallions Fowlds Park, Auckland 2.30pm Kick Off
Sunday 8 May 2005
Hibiscus Coast Raiders vs North Harbour Tigers North Harbour Stadium, Auckland 2.30pm Kick Off
Glenora Bears vs Counties Manukau Jetz Waitakere Stadium, Auckland 2.30pm Kick Off
Otahuhu Ellerslie vs Central Falcons Ericsson Stadium No.1, Auckland 2.30pm Kick Off
Wellington vs Marist Richmond Brothers Porirua Stadium, Wellington 2.30pm Kick Off
Canterbury Bulls vs Eastern Tornadoes Rugby League Park, Christchurch 2.30pm Kick Off