Mt Albert Lions, the reigning Bartercard Cup champions, are set to defend their title at Ericsson Stadium on Sunday afternoon when they take on the Canterbury Bulls in the Grand Final at 2.40pm.
2 weeks ago, the Bulls had the wood on the Mt Albert side as they qualified for the finals play-offs.
Sunday will be a different story, the Bulls earned the week off last week whereas the Lions endured a hard fought battle over Counties Manukau Jets to secure a spot in the final.
With the Bartercard competition being revamped for the 2006 season, both sides would dearly love to go out champions.
Bulls captain Shane Beyers and Lions Steve Buckingham, Sione Pouha and Paul Fisi'iahi are among five players to be honoured before Sunday's kick-off for making 100 Bartercard Cup appearances. The list includes Buckingham (114 games), Beyers (104), Pouha (101), Ricky Henry (North Harbour, 100), and Fisi'iahi (100). The totals include the grand final.
BARTERCARD CUP COMPETITION 2005
Canterbury Bulls vs Mount Albert Lions Ericsson Stadium No.1, Auckland, New Zealand Sunday 18 September 2005 ? 2.40pm Kick Off
CANTERBURY BULLS: 1. Kaine Manihera 2. Lucas Tamakaha 3. Daniel Metcalf 4. Chris Newton 5. James Ward 6. James O?Brien 7. Quincy To?o To?o-Ulugia 8. Vince Whare 9. Shane Beyers (C) 10. Alex Timo 11. Shane Tamatea 12. Peter Asi 13. Corey Lawrie 14. Sam Wallace 15. Ross Turi 16. George Taunga 17. Taylor Pelenise
COACH Phil Prescott Brent Stuart (Asst) Dave Perkins (Asst)
MT ALBERT LIONS:
1. Patrick Ah Van (Andreas Bauer) 2. Adam Ellwood 3. Harry Aonga (Robinson Godfrey) 4. Paul Fisi?iahi 5. Rowan Baxter 6. (C) Steve Buckingham 7. Bernard Perenara 8. Sione Pouha (Jeff Todd) 9. Fale Talaepa 10. (No.18) Phil Shead 11. Fabian Souter 12. Jeff Todd (Eddie Leuluai) 13. Willie Sorenson 14. Daniel O?Regan 15. Regan Wigg 16. Matthew Asoau 17. Sene Pati
COACH Brian McClennan