Ten teams vie for premier rugby glory

Franklin County News - - SPORT -

to the new sea­son.

Cath­cart said it would be im­por­tant to win close games across the sea­son in their quest to make the McNa­mara Cup play-offs.

‘‘Those are the kinds of games we want to win this year, fir­ing up at the end of the sea­son in­stead of just at the start.’’

Waiuku man­ager Lind­say Pierce said re­main­ing in­juryfree through­out the sea­son was vi­tal.

Last year 15 Waiuku play­ers were ruled out by in­jury, al­though so far they had suf­fered no in­juries dur­ing pre­sea­son.

Chris­tian Walker who plays num­ber 10 and 12 was a player to keep an eye on, Pierce said.

‘‘I think Waiuku’s an ex­cit­ing team to watch be­cause we’re al­ways the un­der­dogs.’’

Pa­pakura coach Gavin Giles said his team was go­ing through the usual ‘‘pre-sea­son angst’’.

The goal for the team was to fin­ish in the top eight, Giles said, and full­back Dy­lan Wat­ters and half­back Shirley Halasima were two play­ers who could make a dif­fer­ence this year.

‘‘It’s just build­ing on what the boys did last year and the com­mit­ment they’ve shown.’’

Ma­nurewa coach Tony Bar­chard said the team had al­ready lost four play­ers to the Chiefs’ player de­vel­op­ment squad.

How­ever, Bar­chard said he was de­ter­mined to help the team to match up to the big clubs this sea­son.

‘‘We’re just fo­cus­ing on at­ti­tude and fo­cus­ing on play­ing for one an­other and play­ing for each other.’’

Te Kauwhata coach Stephen Hickey said his side was com­ing off tough three pre-sea­son games.

‘‘We just wanna play a good brand of rugby, we’re go­ing to be one of the un­der­dogs of the com­pe­ti­tion and we just want to com­pete with some of the big teams.

‘‘We’re just a good bunch of hon­est boys.’’

DRAW: Ard­more v Ma­nurewa, Bruce Pul­man Park, Ma­nurewa. Pa­tuma­hoe v Pa­pakura, Pa­tuma­hoe. Pukekohe v Karaka, Colin Lawrie Field 1. Te Kauwhata v Waiuku, Te Kauwhata.

All games start at 2.45pm this Satur­day.

Cameron Skel­ton will be a key player for Pukekohe this sea­son.

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