GRAND FINAL DAY LOCKED IN | Three big fixtures next Sunday at Sydney's ANZ Stadium! Burleigh and Ill...
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Canterbury Bulls vs. Hibiscus Coast Raiders, 22 June 2002, 2:30pm Rugby League Park
Canterbury Bulls D. Aitken, E. Hei Hei, C. Fraser, S. Wallace, R. Hansen, C. Harris, J. O'Brien, V. Whare, S. Beyers (c), A. Timo, D. Champion, C. Lawie, T. Wallace; (reserves) J. Manning, C. Newton, K. Te Hau, C. Herekotukutuku.
Coach: Phil Prescott
Hibiscus Coast Raiders D. Floyd, , J. Vaifale, C. Shears, S. Ata, D. Jones, C. King, A. Aspin, A. Nathan, R. Wigg, T. Fuimaono, B. Solomon, T. Nikora, R. White; (reserves) S. Cavanagh, J. Kem, S. Matthews, C. Te Kiri.
Coach: Tony Benson
Marist Richmond Brothers vs. Mt Albert Lions, 22 June 2002, 2:30pm Murray Halberg Park
Marist Richmond Brothers TBA, M. Paasi, R. Henry, S. Hifo, W. Clarken, J. Cook, M. Perenara, K. Cawdron, T. Latu, A. Karaka, H. Turua, K. Guttenbeil, S. Makisi; (reserves) I. Vaaelua, E. Tuimavave, TBA, S. Mataele.
Coach: Bernie Perenara
Mt Albert Lions L. Finnerty, S. Dewhurst, B. Ivory, D. Faalogo, D. Bundock, S. Buckingham (c), B. Lythe, H. Maiava, K. Henare, P. Kailea, P. Lewis, K. Asiata, W. McDade; (reserves) K. Wright, A. Bauer, S. Faalogo, F. Moi Moi.
Coach: John Ackland
Otahuhu Leopards vs. Glenora Bears, 22 June 2002, 2:30pm Henham Park Otahuhu Leopards
W. Barnard, J. Tavaga, G. Carmont, B. Nelson (c), A. Ikihele, A. Wharton, T. Noovao, G. Tuakura, E. Mann (c), I. Ah Mau, H. Lemafa, J. Smith, B. Tua (reserves); C. Mangele, C. Palmer, T. Frost, P. Teniseli.
Coach: Dean Clark
Glenora Bears S. Harrison, S. Halatoa, L. Tamatoa, A, Fuimaono, A. Iole, G. Bailey, N. Lelo, F. Moi Moi, K. Robards, B. Valeni, K. Edmonson, L. Toli, N. Presland; (reserves) A. Bidios, N. Sue, H. Luaki, D. Bernard.
Coach: Dean Hunter
Eastern Tornadoes vs. Taranaki Wildcats, 22 June 2002, 2:30pm Thompson Park Eastern Tornadoes H. Thomsen, P. Gibson, D. Fisiiahi, H. Vaasa, P. Fisiiahi, J. Pai, C. Wetini, W. Sua, N. Scanlan, S. Faitala (c), E. Leuluai, P. Leuluai, L. Swann; (reserves) A. Fausa, H. Rangi, F. Tupou, J. Tau.
Coach: James Leuluai
Taranaki Wildcats V. Hill, N. Hohaia, W. Te Mata, S. Hoskin, J. Ngawini, J. Teka, K. Martin (c), A. Perry, A. Warner, A. Bayliss, J. Awahou, R. Vesty, C. Fakavamoenga; (reserves) K. Enyon, R. Potaka, Aaron Harrison, TBA.
Coach: Alan Jackson
Northcote Tigers vs. Wellington, 23 June 2002, 12:00pm Ericsson Stadium (Sky TV) Northcote Tigers K. Johnson, T. Taitoko, G. MacPherson, L. Copestake, T. Davis, K. McIntosh, J. Trott, D. Trott, Q. Ikifana, K. Benson, J. Kamariera, M. Spence, S. Ieremia; (reserves) S. Rhind, F. Te Aukura, J. Vaotogo, P. Brazendale.
Coach: Geoff Morton
Wellington L. Sione, S. Helu, T. Auvaa, T. Renata, J. Haerara, D. Kapene, T. Pickering, C. Faifua, J. Limmer, T. Gemmel (c), M. Sikuvea, T. Hall, F. Rameka; (reserves) S. Ratu, C. Mitchell, J. Tuimaualuga, T. Lavulavu.
Coach: Gerard Stokes
Central Falcons vs. Manurewa Marlins, 23 June 2002, 2:30pm Arena Manawatu Central Falcons M. Price, N. Ngaru, W. Live, A. Tuala, J. Kainuku, T. Clune, D. Wilson, S. Whakarau, J. Bell, T. Malu, D. Lomax, I. Drummond, D. Edmonds; (reserves) W. Raston, R. Hurunui, B. Chase, M. Timoiti.
Coach: John Lomax
Manurewa Marlins T. Karaka, F. Perese, H. Heta, G. Eliki, J. Brown, L. Nicholson, J. Ioapo, R. Karaka, C. Motu, A. Tusani, T. Palmatangi, W. Barnett (c), S. Tupou; (reserves) J. Arama, C. Te Hira, R. Ashwell, TBA.
Coach: Trevor Clark
Northcote Tigers and Wellington enjoy the limelight on Sunday in the Bartercard Cup when they play the televised match from Ericsson Stadium before the Warriors game against St George Illawara.
With only a point separating these teams it promises to be another even tussle between two teams who had a great start to the season.
Last weekend they both had some success. For the Tigers it was a successful trip to Christchurch against the Bulls while for Wellington it was a draw against the neighboring Central Falcons.
Both teams have aspirations of making it into the semi finals later in the year and are presently lying in 6th & 7th spot respectively. They have a real chance but will be wanting to build on last weeks improvements quickly.
So it's an important game for them both as a loss for either will see them slipping further away from that fifth spot. Last weekend both teams had similar games, giving up a half time lead to play catch up in the second half.
Northcote had the stronger finish to eventually snatch a four-point win while Wellington relied heavily on their skipper Thomas Gemmell to get them up for the draw. They also had ex rugby union NPC player Darren Kapene to thank. Kapene slotted over six goals and it was his kicking that brought the two sides together as his team was outscored by five tries to four.
It's a bit hard to pick this one. A Sunday game suits Wellington as they'll be able to play fullback Lusi Sione, but coach Gerard Stokes has difficulty putting the same team on the field in consecutive weeks due to injury woes.
If Northcote is at full strength then I think they should get home by a narrow margin but they're going to have to work hard for two points.
The Hibiscus Coast Raiders have a chance to lick their wounds following last week's heavy loss at the hands of the Mt Albert Lions when they travel to Christchurch to take on the Canterbury Bulls.
The Raiders should have learnt some hard lessons following that big loss, their second defeat since this competition started. For the Bulls are now languishing at the foot of the table with only a solitary win to their name.
However that doesn't mean that they're easy beats, certainly at home, given the encouraging young talent putting their hands up. The Raiders will have to remember what happened to them at New Plymouth a few weeks back. It was a lack of discipline that cost the Raiders so much last week and as that discipline was lost so was their game plan.
They've got the best attacking weapon in the competition in fullback Daniel Floyd and some experienced campaigners in Co-Skipper Ritchie White and Sonny Cavanagh.
Saturday's big game pitches top side Mt Albert against Marist Richmond who lie in forth spot.
The only team to have a better attacking record than Marist Richmond Brothers is Mt Albert. So I would expect them to be able to score some points on Saturday. However the problem for the Brothers has been their somewhat fragile defence at times, which has seen 221 points scored against them as opposed to the Lions 128, which is easily the best defensive record in the league.
Therefore if the Lions can dominate possession they should run out winners.
However if the Brothers can maintain good ball control, they could trouble the Lions.
Eastern Tornadoes host Taranaki Wildcats and with the good form of the Tornadoes in recent weeks they should maintain their number two spot.
The Wildcats will give them a good run but the Tornadoes will have too much speed across the field and look to be the favourites.
Central Falcons welcome Manurewa to Palmerston North and no doubt that it will be a rousing welcome at that. The Marlins should start as favourites but they haven't done too well away from home this year and if there's a likely upset on the cards this is just the game where it's likely to happen.
The Falcons looked to have lost big Billy Weepu, and it could be for good, as he was heavily concussed last week in the game against Wellington.
However another player now gets a chance for a start and a possible winning one at that.
Otahuhu and Glenora meet on Saturday at Henham Park. With Otahuhu maintaining fifth place and the Bears in eighth, on paper it looks like a win to Otahuhu.
However the Bears are improving rapidly and were impressive last week in their 44 - 24 victory over Taranaki.
They've also been boosted by the surprise shift, in a somewhat curious decision to say the least, of ex Mt Albert tough man Fui Fui Moi Moi, transferred by his registered, and Mt Albert Lions feeder club, Pt Chevalier.
Otahuhu themselves are in good form presently but mustn't underestimate the Bears or they could be in trouble.