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Auckland Rugby League Premier Competition, The Mad Butcher Fox Memorial, is entering that very interesting stage, with five games remaining in the round.
The Papakura Sea Eagles are four points clear at the top, but only four points separates the next five teams. Mt Albert lead both Mangere East and Manurewa by one point and East Coast Bays and Richmond are three points behind these two.
Realistically, out of the picture are Te Atatu and the winless Otahuhu Leopards. The Roosters had a blinding start to the season but have fallen away dramatically. The Leopards can?t win a trick, let alone a ball game. Had they not played their Bartercard players in the last game of the grading round, they would likely have been in Sharman Cup - and been playing at their true level.
The table positions are unlikely to change tomorrow, barring any major upset.
Papakura take on Richmond at South Auckland. The Sea Eagles should take this one reasonably easily as Richmond have not been consistent to date and Papakura have only dropped one game.
Mangere East play Te Atatu at Walter Massey Park. The Mangere East side looked listless and disinterested in their loss to Mt Albert last week and will need to be a good deal sharper this week to make this one safe.
Otahuhu match up against the Manurewa Marlins at Henham Park. The Leopards will, once again, make up the numbers in this game.
East Coast Bays and Mt Albert at Freyberg Park. n interesting game this one. The Barracudas have been without their veteran ?go to? man, Slipper Green, for their last couple of games, while he has been playing Bartercard Cup for North Harbour, and their results have shown just how much they have missed him. East Coast Bays need to win a few more games to ensure a spot in the Top 5, but it?s doubtful that this will be one of them.