So here we are, well and truly at the business end of the Auckland Rugby League Lion Red Fox Memorial competition. The final five has sorted itself out and a closer finish has rarely been seen in the long history of this competition.
Congratulations to Northcote, Marist and Otahuhu for making the final three spots for the semis. Mangere East, after being in third spot going into the last game, managed to slide out the back door, thanks to their loss to the Tigers and results of other games. Te Atatu can also count themselves unlucky, after beating second placed Papakura, but surrendering a huge lead and finishing on lower percentage points and out of the reckoning.
The preliminary semi-final this weekend sees the games between the Papakura Sea Eagles and the Northcote Tigers and Marist Saints and the Otahuhu Leopards.
Prince Edward Park sees the clash between the Sea Eagles and the Tigers. Difficult to see the Tigers taking this one and the Sea Eagles will be on their game after their loss to the Roosters last week. Nobby Locke was an absolute stand out for the Tigers last week, scoring three tries, all solo efforts, and kicking five goals. This 17 year old is a bolter in the Junior Kiwis, but the Tigers will need more than one of him to take this one out. The winner lines up against Mt Albert next week and the loser takes on the winner of the Saints, Leopards match.
Murray Halberg Park plays host to that particular match. Winner of this game goes through to the next (minor) semi final and the loser goes to the beach. It?s a really tough one to pick. Realistically, the Leopards probably should not be there, but they are, and it?s possible they could go on with it. I believe though, that Marist are peaking at the right time, and as such, will be playing next week.
All games commence at 2.30pm