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Tomorrow is the kick off of the Auckland Rugby League, 2005 Mad Butcher Fox Memorial.
This venerable old trophy, first played for in 1910, has long become the most respected Rugby League prize in the country, despite the fact that it is only played in Auckland, between Auckland Clubs, who have earned the right, and the honour, of playing for it.
Following a gruelling seven game Grading Round to earn the right, the eight highest placed Auckland Premier teams will play two rounds of seven games each, before playing off in a Top 5 format for the ultimate trophy.
As expected, the big gun Clubs are back, but a lot of interest is centred on League minnows, East Coast Bays. In something of a fairy tale, the Warrick Anderson, coached Baracuddas, who won 3rd division last year, completely leap frogged 2nd division by being runners up in their Grading Round section.
Another Club that has been in 2nd division, Sharman Cup, for the last few years is also back in the top division. Te Atatu Roosters had a distastrous start in the pre-season, Roope Rooster competition but have recovered well to take their place among the elite.
Let the games begin.
21 May 2005
Te Atatu v Papakura, Jack Colvin Park 2.30pm
Manurewa v East Coast Bays, Leabank Park 2.30pm
Otahuhu v Mangere East, Heham Park 2.30pm
Richmond v Mt Albert, Grey Lynn Park 2.30pm