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With all teams in New Zealand's Bartercard Cup competition having a week off last week, Round 8 this weekend will sure to be action packed as we head into the second half of the competition.
There's added incentive in Bartercard games this weekend as selectors for a New Zealand A team will be looking for players from the national competition. NZA will play New South Wales Country (NSWC) on Sunday, July 4, 2.30pm at North Harbour Stadium in Albany. NZA represents the best of New Zealand's domestic talent and will be up against a representative side selected from the best of the Australia's regional competitions. NZRL have appointed Canterbury Bulls coach Phil Prescott as coach of NZA. Prescott will head a team of selectors that includes Rugby League Foundation high performance director Duane Mann and former NZA Coach Trevor McLeod.
Also an Auckland representative side, coached by ARL coaching and development manager, Stan Martin, will play NSWC the week prior on Tuesday, June 29, at Ericsson Stadium number two field.
NZRL will allow players selected for NZA to be considered for Auckland also ensuring that both teams will be at full strength.
BARTERCARD CUP TEAM LISTS - ROUND 8:
Saturday 19 June 2004
The first game of Round 8 has last years champions the Canterbury Bulls, head north to Albany to take on the North Harbour Tigers. With the Bulls currently a close second on the ladder, just one point behind the competition leader Marist Richmond Brothers, they will be looking for a solid performance away from home. The loss of Warriors development prop Kane Ferris for four weeks with a hamstring injury is a tough blow for the Bulls but there is a lot of depth in the side to cover.
The Tigers are tough at home at North Harbour Stadium. A narrow loss to Mt Albert in Round 7 at Ericsson Stadium in a game they had every chance of winning will spur them on in front of their home crowd. Stand out centre, Karl Johnson has been in devastating form.
The prospect of the North Queensland Cowboys making an appearance at the game before their NRL clash against the NZ Warriors at Ericsson Stadium on Sunday, would be a great boost and a chance for youngsters to get close to NRL players.
North Harbour Tigers: T. Berry, T. Samoa, K. Johnson, L. Copestake, S. Torbet, D. Vasau, J. Trott, Q. Ikifana (C), D. Glasgon, J. Duff, A. Aukafolau, D. Leuila-Briggs, J. Kamareira Reserves: J. Golf, C. Tupou, S. Feterika, W. Roberts Coach: Karl Benson / Kenneth McIntosh
Canterbury Bulls: C. Herekotukutuku, P. McDonald, R. Martin, J. McDonald, R. Hanson, A. Harris, M. Clarkson, V. Whare, A. Auimatagi, A. Timo, S. Wallace, C. Lawrie, C. Fraser Reserves: C. Newton, P. Asi, J. Manning, G. Mulipola Coach: Phil Prescott
Mt Albert Lions are snapping at the heels of both the Canterbury Bulls and competition leaders Marist Richmond Brothers, being 2nd equal on points.The Lions will host their second game at the Unitec grounds this Saturday, this time against Eastern Tornadoes. A good crowd turned out for the Lions for their first game at the ground and the same is expected on Saturday. Their form has picked up over the last few rounds with their big forwards leading the way.
The break from the competition last week would've done both these sides a favour with players returning from injuries.
The win in atrocious conditions for half of the match against the Raiders in Round 7 would've helped the Tornadoes. They will be without Warriors player Justin Murphy who has played well for them at fullback. Only four points behind the competition leaders, and lying 4th equal with 3 other teams, the Tornadoes will searching for back to back wins. A tough ask against the Lions on their home ground but not impossible.
Mt Albert Lions: A. Bauer, M. Manu, R. Godfrey, A. Fungapo, R. Baxter, S. Buckingham (C), J. Noble, S. Pouha, L. Talamavao, D. Davis, R. Wigg, M. Asoau, T. Tuimavave Reserves: J. Todd, F. Soutar, J. Tau (No.17 TBA) Coach: Brian McClennan / No'ora Samuela
Eastern Tornadoes: T. Hewitt, N. Ngametua, R. Piakura, K. Fakalata, I. Paulo, Z. Luisi, W. Morunga, A. Lafaele, L. Lafaele, A. Leau, I. Liava'a, N. Pulu, S. Peau Reserves: M. Latu, S. Smith, P. Menary, H. Rangi Coach: Boss Cecil
Unfortunately the Hibiscus Coast Raiders now find themselves languishing at the bottom of the table. Not a good thing as they head over the bridge to Murray Halberg Park to take on the current leaders Marist Richmond Brothers, on Saturday afternoon.
With an improving game in the second half of their Round 7 match against the Tornadoes, hopefully the Raiders will be able to build on that and come back into the form we've come to expect from a Hibiscus Coast side.
The Marist side also come off the break following a close encounter against the Jetz in Papakura. The team is strong right across the field and with representative honours up for grab, will be looking for an impressive victory at home.
Marist Richmond Brothers: J. Taivale, T. Ropati, A. Murray, R. Henry, M. Taulapapa, G. Rota, B. Perenara, K. Cawdron, M. France, A. Su'a, H. Turua (C), K. Guttenbeil, R. Seuala Reserves: T. Taua'a, B. Douglas, E. Leavai, J. Pukepuke Coach: Bernie Perenara
Hibiscus Coast Raiders: C. Te Kiri, S. Jackson, O. Manuel, D. Tepu, J. Vaifale, D. Floyd, T. Thompson, S. Stowers, C. Shears (C), J. Asiata, T. Nikora, W. Henare, G. Moana Reserves: M. Heke, S. Tereora (No.16 & 17 TBA) Coach: Tony Benson
The Glenora Bears side head down the country to take on the Central Falcon on Saturday afternoon in Palmerston North. The Bears have caused the top teams a few headaches over the last few weeks and although they were absolutely hammered in Christchurch in Round 7, they will come back.
The Falcons will have the confidence from their first win in the last round over the more fancied Wellington side and will look to build on that when the Bears come to town. Both these teams are side by side in the competition, with the Bears a sole point ahead. The Falcons have looked strong over the last couple of rounds and may just continue this form at home.
Central Falcons: N. Ngaru, N. Coburn, W. Live, M. Whakatihi, S. Forbes, G. Kerrisk, P. Hales, W. Wharepapa, L. Erihe, M. Graham (C), M. Tuitupou, S. Leota, T. Greig Reserves: J. Watson, D. Fa'apito, P. Amua, S. Whakarau Coach: Peter Sixtus
Glenora Bears: T. Toailoa, C. Nahu, L. Tamatoa, K. Alefosio, A. Iole, S. Ieremia, T. Papali'i, M. Toelau (C), H. Godinet, B. Valeni, K. Edmondson, I. Retzlaff, C. Waide Reserves: V. Mafi, V. Tutuila, B. Stewart, N. Presland Coach: Geoff Morton
The game between Otahuhu Ellerslie and Wellington at Ericsson No.2 ground on Saturday afternoon has the potential to be the match of the round if both sides play to their full potential. Inconsistency has let them down but as both teams have shown, the talent amongst the sides is definitely there if they decide to tap into it.
Otahuhu Ellerslie come off a great win over the Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions in Round 7 and hopefully they will continue that form.
Wellington would've been very disappointed to lose to the Falcons in Round 7 after some great wins earlier in the season. Ill discipline let them down and if that is controlled, they will go well.
A tough match to call.
Otahuhu Ellerlsie: P. Atkin, G. Ruka, P. Fisi'iahi, D. Fisi'iahi, J. Tavaga, J. Yandall, T. Leuluai, S. Faitala, G. Va'afuasaga, F. Tupou, S. Tufeao, T. Frost, F. Nuuausala Reserves: S. Niuela, M. Langdon, R. Johnson, C. Wetini Coach: James Leuluai
Wellington: D. Laulu, T. Ioane, D. Hape, V. Manu, V. Apu'ula, J. Te Reo, J. MacDonald, T. Lavulavu, J. Carnegie, F. Laumua, T. Hall, C. Savali'i (C), S. Mannering Reserves: J. Parekura, M. Nathan, W. Weepu, (No.17 TBA) Coach: Paul Bergman
The only Sunday game of the Bartercard competition is the curtain raiser to the NZ Warriors vs Cowboys match at Ericsson, and the first ever appearance on the 'main stage' for both sides. The two newcomers in the competition go head to head for the first time since their pre season trial match in Hamilton.
The Stallions are just one point ahead of the Jetz on the table and have looked a little wayward in the last couple of rounds, with back to back losses after leading the competition in the earlier stages. Coaches Tawera Nikau and Len Reid would've stressed on their side the importance of discipline and defence, both which have let them down of late.
The Jetz on the other hand have looked good. Although they narrowly lost to Marist in Round 7, they pushed the top of the table team for the full 80 minutes, something not a lot of teams have managed to do.
Another tough game to call as both side have some very talented players. The Wai-Coa-Bay side are due for a comeback, may be it will be on Sunday. A great game to watch before the main event.
Counties Manukau Jetz: L. Finnerty, J. Karatiana, P. Tafea, I. Hagaitoa, S. Foki, J. Ioapo, A. Herangi, A. Tusani, G. Eliki, N. Su'e, M. Vili, R. Peters, W. Barnett (C) Reserves: A. Moerua, S. Foketi, A. Pereira, T. Tuifelasai Coach: Dean Hunter
Waicoa Bay Stallions: B. Ingram, R. Peri, D. Campbell-Benson, V. Moana-Mason, H. Wilson, N. Kaa, T. Matthews, B. Tawera, C. Norton (C), J. David, D. Kete, K. Tumoana, H. Kingi Reserves: B. Roberts, S. Rapira, J. Pooley, J. Kaho Coach: Tawera Nikau / Len Reid
Saturday 19 June 2004