Lion Foundation NJC Competition Enters The Business End

The Lion Foundation National Junior Competition tomorrow enters the knock out semi-final stage. Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch will host the games that will sort out the finalists to play at Ericcson Stadium on April 17, for the Foundation and Kiwi Cups. Tomorrow, the Foundation Cup semis features, favourites, Auckland Crowns against First National Northland at Cornwall Park in Auckland. The Crowns are unbeaten in the comp, and I would reasonably expect them to be untroubled tomorrow against the gutsy Northland side. The other 16's semi between Wellington and the Auckland Sea Lions, at Wise Park in Wellington, is much harder to pick. The Sea Lions travelled down to Wise Park in round two, and came out winning by two points. Wise Park has long been a graveyard for Auckland teams in any grade, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the Sea Lions may just come away earning a finals spot. This team is due to put in a big one and I think it may be tomorrow. The Kiwi Cup semi at Cornwall Park is between the Auckland Crowns and the Auckland Sea Lions. The Crowns, like their younger colleagues, are undefeated while the Sea Lions have dropped two games along the way. While the Crowns haven't lost a game, they have not looked unbeatable along the way. That said though, the last time these two teams met the Crowns came out with a 20 point winning margin. The second Kiwi Cup semi, in Christchruch at Rugby League Park, is probably the most fascinating game on offer. Canterbury and Wellington both finished on 6 points with only 18 points differential separating them. The home ground advantage in Christchurch is very significant, but I have a feeling the Wellington team may just book themselves a trip to Ericcson on Sunday week. Regardless of the results, the weekend promises a feast of League from the elite young players. Bring it on.

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