Bombay with chance to open up gap

 Bombay with chance to open up gap

Bombay will look to protect their spot in the McNamara Cup top four when they host bottom-placed Ardmore Marist in the first match of the second round on Saturday.

In a tightly contested battle, with Manurewa two points behind and Papakura four behind, Bombay are in a dogfight to make the semi-finals.

Fresh off a late comeback to secure a draw with Papakura last weekend, Mike Tuiloma’s side will be desperate to bank maximum points against the win-less Ardmore Marist on Saturday.

It is a Papakura side that is gaining confidence by the week but one that will get a massive test when they host the in-form Pukekohe at Massey Park.

The Papakura outfit has collected a win and two draws in their past three fixtures and will feel they can really compete for a playoff spot during the second round.

Pukekohe will be a tough proposition having secured wins over Karaka, Patumahoe and Manurewa in the past three weeks.

Manurewa will look to celebrate veteran prop Lachlan Collier’s 150th Premier game in style when they host Karaka at Mountfort Park.

Both sides will be desperate for a win having come off losses in recent weeks.

After a perfect start to the season Karaka has dropped back-to-back games against Pukekohe and Patumahoe respectively.

The Bob Chandler Cup Premier Reserves competition is heating up with Manurewa, Bombay and Pukekohe all fighting over third-fifth on the ladder.

All three clubs have the chance to close the gap on leaders Patumahoe and Karaka when they meet Karaka, Ardmore Marist and Papakura respectively this weekend.

It looms as a big weekend for Sid Marshall Shield teams with contenders Te Kauwhata, Onewhero and Te Kohanga getting the chance to press their semi-final claims against top opposition.

Te Kauwahta meets Weymouth at Laurie Gibbons Reserve, knowing a loss will mean they will be more than two wins outside a playoff berth.

Likewise, Onewhero will chase a win against unbeaten Drury at Drury Domain, while Te Kohanga will travel to Waiuku to face another team well inside the top four.

Elsewhere, defending champions Puni host Tuakau and Patumahoe travels to Mountfort Park to play Manurewa.

Pukekohe hosts Manurewa in a battle between two leading sides in the Massey Cup U21 competition.

Top-of-the-table Karaka heads to Bruce Pulman Park to play Ardmore Marist while Papakura hosts Patumahoe.

In the U85kg grade, defending champions Onewhero travel to Colin Lawrie Fields to play Pukekohe.

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

In the Presidents grade, Pukekohe hosts Marist Brothers while Ardmore Marist are at home to Ponsonby.