The bat­tle be­gins for the Meads Shield

Taupo Times - - OUT & ABOUT - STEPH RANGI

The Ron Bry­ers tro­phy is done and dusted and now the top six rugby teams will be gun­ning for the Mead’s Shield which is cur­rently held by one of Taupo’s se­nior teams.

Eleven weeks of rugby has been and gone and from that the top six [Meads Shield] and bottom five [First Di­vi­sion] has been de­cided.

Two of Taupo’s se­nior teams – Taupo Sports A and Taupo United – have se­cured their spots in the top 6, with Sports A com­ing in third and United tak­ing up the 6th po­si­tion.

Dur­ing the first six weeks of the Ron Bry­ers tro­phy com­pe­ti­tion, Sports A and United were sit­ting first and sec­ond re­spec­tively but rugby man­ager Josh Standen said in­juries have hit both teams hard.

‘‘Both se­nior teams have strug­gled with in­juries in the past month,’’ Standen said.

‘‘The past 3-4 weeks they have been ham­mered with in­juries and that has put them down on the points ta­ble.

‘‘But they still made the top six quite com­fort­ably.’’

The points board has now been wiped clean and to­mor­row marks week one of the round robin for the Mead’s Shield and First Di­vi­sion.

The Mead’s Shields will see five weeks played be­fore a semi­fi­nal and a fi­nal while the First Di­vi­sion will only have a fi­nal.

Taupo Sports A cur­rently hold the Mead’s Shield ti­tle and Standen said they will be look­ing to keep hold of it.

‘‘First and fore­most, they will be look­ing to host the semi-fi­nal,’’ he said.

‘‘And United will want to go that one bet­ter and make the fi­nal.’’

The high­est qual­i­fy­ing teams will win the right to host the semi fi­nals and the fi­nals.

The same goes for the First Di­vi­sion but the two high­est rank­ing teams af­ter the round robin will bat­tle it out in the fi­nal.

Standen said Taupo Sports B will keep slug­ging away at what they are do­ing, while Ton­gariro will be look­ing to hold their ti­tle.

‘‘Ton­gariro won the right to host it last year and won it,’’ he said.

‘‘They are look­ing strong for the First Di­vi­sion. They will be look­ing to fin­ish first in the round robin, win the right to host and go back to back.’’

Taupo Sports A will host Pio­pio while United will host Waitete. Taupo Sports B will take on Bush United in Ben­ny­dale.

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