Round three of the NZRL Bartercard Cup shapes up to be a cracker.
Tonight, the Counties Manukau Jetz take on the Hibiscus Coast Raiders at the Jetz home ground, Massey Park. The Jetz under went a remarkable turn around in form last week, in beating Marist Richmond, 38/20. The Raiders, for their part, thumped the Glenora Bears, 62/4. The Raiders are certainly getting off to a better start this year, thanks in part to the return to the club of centre, Shaun Ata, and the early form of Daniel Floyd, back in his full back spot. I think the Raiders will take this comfortably.
Saturday brings two games in Auckland, with Glenora taking on Wellington at Harold Moody Park and the Marist Richmond Brothers matching up against North Harbour Tigers at Grey Lynn Park. Glenora, at this point, are yet to find top form and I suspect Wellington will be taking the two points home to the Windy City. The Tigers have two from two and are residing at the top of the table. They probably will be too strong for the Brothers.
It's interesting to note the number of former Marist Richmond Brothers who have crossed the bridge to join the Harbour team.
The third Saturday game is at Huntly's Davies Park, where the Waicoa Bay Stallions host the Eastern Tornadoes. Both these teams are yet to post a win. After watching the Stallions last week I have to install them as favourites in this. They looked just short of a run and the home ground should get them over the line.
Sunday will see the, as yet, unbeaten, Central Falcons up against the Bulls at home at Fitzherbert Park in Palmerston North. It's always hard to beat the Falcons in their own back yard and the Bulls don't always travel well. The Canterbury Bulls have one from two and were not in great form last week, going down 68/32 to the Mt Albert Lions. I think the Falcons will take this one narrowly.
Match of the round is undoubtedly the clash between the Mt Albert Lions and Otahuhu Ellerslie at Ericcson Stadium on Sunday. The curtain raiser to the Warriors/Panthers clash should provide excitement aplenty. The Lions are up there with the Tigers and the Falcons as unbeaten to date. Otahuhu Ellerslie looked really good in their win last week over the Stallions and I think they could provide an upset this week
Friday 29 April 2005
Counties Manukau Jetz vs Hibiscus Coast Raiders Massey Park Papakura, Auckland 7.30pm Kick Off
Saturday 30 April 2005
Glenora Bears vs Wellington Harold Moody Park, Auckland 2.30pm Kick Off
Marist Richmond Brothers vs North Harbour Tigers Grey Lynn Park, Auckland 2.30pm Kick Off
Waicoa Bay Stallions vs Eastern Tornadoes Davies Park, Huntly 2.30pm Kick Off
Sunday 1 May 2005
Central Falcons vs Canterbury Bulls Fitzherbert Park, Palmerston North 2.30pm Kick Off
Otahuhu Ellerslie vs Mount Albert Lions Ericsson Stadium No.1, Auckland (C/R To Warriors vs Penrith Panthers) 11.35am Kick Off