Final round battle for home semi-finals

Final round battle for home semi-finals

Karaka will host Patumahoe at Karaka Sports Complex in a McNamara Cup battle that will determine which of the two sides gets a home semi-final next weekend.

Patumahoe and Pukekohe sit atop the standings on 44 points with Karaka two points back in third heading into the final round robin weekend.

Karaka are coming off a bye last weekend and will look to reverse the opening round battle between the two sides when the blue and golds got the points.

Patumahoe are coming off a lost to Pukekohe last weekend and will be fighting to secure a home semi-final many people thought was a lock for most of the season.

Instead, it will come down to 80 minutes of footy that is likely to be on a knife edge.

Pukekohe too will chase a home semi-final when they host old rivals Manurewa at Colin Lawrie Fields.

Both sides are secured of semi-final berths while Manurewa know they will be on the road next week.

Bombay hosts Papakura up the hill in the third match of the round – both clubs will be celebrating milestones for hard working and respected players.

David O’Connell brings up 100 Premier games for Bombay while Papakura lock forward Matt Thorburn also celebrates the same milestone.

Bombay need only to beat Papakura in the Bob Chandler Premier Reserves to secure a semi-final spot in what has become a very congested ladder.

They currently hold fourth spot – two points behind Pukekohe and one ahead of Manurewa but with those two teams playing each other, a win will be enough.

For Pukekohe and Manurewa however, they are essentially playing a quarter-final with the loser likely to be eliminated.

Patumahoe travels to Karaka in a battle for bragging rights in topping the regular season table.

Waiuku travels to Puni to face the defending Sid Marshall Shield champions in what is essentially a head-to-head battle for the last remaining semi-final spot.

Waiuku has a two-point edge heading into the contest and a win would guarantee them a ticket to next week while a loss opens the door for both Puni and Te Kauwhata, who are point further back.

Te Kauwhata will need to beat third-placed Te Kohanga with a bonus point to give themselves any chance.

Drury hosts Manurewa while Tuakau travels to Onewhero. Maramarua hosts Patumahoe in the other games this weekend.

Karaka, who have not lost a game this season, faces Pukekohe in the Massey Cup U21 final at Navigation Homes Stadium, Field 2 in the Counties Energy Game of the Week.

The defending champions have had an even better season in 2023 but will need to clear one final hurdle. That won’t be easy against a Pukekohe side determined to turn up the form book.

The game will be livestreamed from 1pm on CMRFU and Counties Sports Hub Facebook pages.

Pukekohe will need a bonus point win over Onewhero in the U85kg competition to jump ahead of their opponents and secure the last remaining semi-final berth when they meet at Onewhero on Saturday.

Patumahoe hosts Drury, Karaka travels to Waiuku while Beachlands Maraetai hosts Ardmore Marist.