Two desperate teams in the playoff race meet in the Counties Power Game of the Week this week at Patumahoe Troydon Patumahoe Hotel hosts Pukekohe Mitre 10 Mega.
The two arch rivals are separated by just four points on the congested ladder in and around the top four spots.
Reon Graham’s Patumahoe side got bragging rights in the first round clash between the two sides at Colin Lawrie Fields but he doesn’t think that has much relevance this week.
“Every week any team can beat anybody,” Graham said. “There are no easy games.
“This year’s competition is as close I can recall.
“We just have to keep getting points and stay in that top four and then see how it plays out from there.”
Pukekohe coach Mark Price is hoping his side bounces back from a tough patch, where they have left a lot of competition points go begging.
“While they’ve been in games and capable of winning each week, points have eluded them in recent times.
“I think it is definitely a competition this year that if you don’t turn up you are in for a bit of trouble,” the Pukekohe and Steelers stalwart said.
“All the teams are very strong this year and in our eyes it is crucial you come away from every game with points each weekend.
“It would be huge to come away with victory with the table being so congested and the competition being so even.
“A win is a must.”
Aside from their relative spots on the competition ladder the clash between the two long-time rival clubs holds a special relevance.
“They bring a tough game against us especially,” Graham explained. “It is a local derby and a lot of mates playing against each other so both teams want to get one up on the other.
“Basically it comes down to who is still standing at the end of the 80 minutes.”
Karaka hosts Bombay in a similar encounter between two sides battling for top four spots. Bombay carries a four-game win streak into the contest while Karaka have just hit a patch of games without getting a win.
Second-placed Manurewa Kidd Contracting meets Papakura Ray White at Mountfort Park while Waiuku Brian James Contracting hosts top-of-the-table Ardmore Marist South Auckland Motors.