Manurewa Kidd Contracting will have to deal with the significant pressure of performing in front of a massive home crowd and on the big stage when they host Papakura Thirsty Liquor in the Counties Power Game of the Week Saturday.
The proud club celebrates its centenary against their near neighbours in what promises to be a massive weekend.
But with all that fanfare comes pressure to get the result and coach Jeremy Clark is well aware of the threat Papakura presents in being the party spoilers.
“They have nothing to lose – it is all for us to do,” Clark said. “They are wanting to spoil the party and spoil the weekend.
“They have quality coaching in [Kerry] Petrie and [Pat] Flavell and they won’t leave any stone unturned.
“They have a good side; they have some good players all over the park and have threats all over the park.
“We need to play to our strengths and get those little things right and nullify some of their threats then we should be ok.”
Manurewa’s success during the Clark regime has been based around a direct approach, taking teams on up the middle and being more physical than their opponents.
It will come as little surprise that their game plan will be much of the same.
“We will be going direct. We have never been shy in saying we will be going through the middle. If our tight five lays that platform then we have all the ability to unleash our back line,” Clark said.
“We are just going to enjoy ourselves – you don’t want to get too loose but like I have said to our players, this is going to be the biggest crowd we will ever play in front of at our home ground so we want to put on a show.”
A number of ex-players will be in attendance and a huge weekend of celebrations are planned. The game will also be live-streamed on the Counties Manukau Rugby Facebook page and the Counties Sports Hub Facebook page.
Top-of-the-table Karaka hosts Ardmore Marist South Auckland Motors in a battle of the two remaining unbeaten sides at Karaka Sports Complex on Saturday.
The two clubs were top of the standings last season when the plug was pulled on the season and already look to be the sides to beat this year.
Karaka will be boosted with the return of skipper Jamie Gilbert-Clark from injury.
Reigning champions Bombay Super Freight travels to Patumahoe to face Patumahoe Troydon Patumahoe Hotel, who are coming off the back of successive losses.
Waiuku Land & Sea Civil heads to Onewhero while Weymouth hosts Pukekohe Mitre 10 Mega at Laurie Gibbons Field.
In Premier 2 Bob Chandler Memorial action Manurewa Wise Property Management hosts Pukekohe at Mountfort Park, Ardmore Marist Barfoot & Thompson travels to Karaka Sports Complex to face Karaka while Patumahoe Dave Redshaw Electrical hosts Bombay Pokeno Bacon.
The Massey Cup U21 competition begins this weekend with Manurewa Barfoot & Thompson hosting Papakura Thirsty Liquor at Mountfort Park as part of the club’s centenary celebrations, Waiuku travels to Colin Lawrie Fields to face Pukekohe while Karaka hosts Patumahoe CJM Construction.
In U85kg action Bombay will host Beachlands Maraetai, Karaka hosts Waiuku while Pukekohe travels to neighbours Patumahoe.
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