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All Bartercard Cup action in this weekend?s Round 10 takes place on Sunday, opening with a double header at Ericsson Number 2, between the Tornadoes and Wellington followed by Mt Albert and Otahuhu Ellerslie.
The Tornadoes and Wellington are on equal points (8) on the table and both will be trying desperately to stay in touch with that all important 5th spot. Wellington went down, at home, last week to the Tigers, in a fairly controversial game in which a North Harbour Front Rower was suspended for six weeks. The Tornadoes were beaten by Otahuhu Ellerslie. Both these teams will be very keen to atone for their losses. Wellington will be once again without Simon Mannering, who is on deserved Warriors duties. I think Eastern Tornadoes in real close one.
Mt Albert didn?t actually get to play last weekend due to a soggy ground out South Auckland way. They will be champing at the bit to get a run, and Otahuhu Ellerslie, despite their resurgence in form, could well end up on the wrong end of a towelling.
Fitzherbert Park in Palmerston North sees the Central Falcons hosting the match against the Counties Manukau Jetz. The Jetz also had last weekend off, so both these teams have a game in hand and only a point separates them. The Jetz would enjoy slight favouritism in this game.
North Harbour Tigers take on the Marist Richmond Brothers at North Harbour Stadium. The Brothers looked very lack lustre last Sunday in their loss to the Bears and Coach, Sam Panapa, will have worked on the mental side of their game. The Brothers won the corresponding encounter early in the season, but that was in their back yard. I suspect the tables may be turned in this one. It doesn?t need me, though, to tell the Tigers that their discipline will have to be top notch to take the two points.
At Davies Park in Huntly, Waicoa Bay take on the Glenora Bears. The Bears will be on a real high, following their maiden victory last week. I have the feeling that win may actually kick start these guys and while they are well out of touch with the top 5, they may yet finish in a respectable spot. Waicoa Bay, on their day, could beat any side, but will this be their day?..
Rugby League Park in Christchurch has often been the Rugby League equivalent of ?the house of pain?. The Hibiscus Coast Raiders travel down to match up against the Canterbury Bulls. The Bulls are moving along very well in second spot on the table. The Raiders managed a draw against the Falcons last week, not an ideal preparation for this game. The Bulls should take this one comfortably.
Eastern Manukau Tornadoes vs Wellington Ericsson Stadium No.2, Auckland 12.50pm Kick Off
Mount Albert Lions vs Otahuhu Ellerslie Ericsson Stadium No.2, Auckland 2.30pm Kick Off
North Harbour Tigers vs Marist Richmond Brothers North Harbour Stadium, Auckland 2.30pm Kick Off
Central Falcons vs Counties Manukau Jetz Fitzherbert Park, Palmerston North 2.30pm Kick Off
Waicoa Bay Stallions vs Glenora Bears Davies Park, Huntly 2.30pm Kick Off
Canterbury Bulls vs Hibiscus Coast Raiders Rugby League Park, Christchurch 2.30pm Kick Off