Honda Financial Premiership Preview – 9 March
The Hedley Howarth and Tom Hellaby Championships reach the penultimate round this weekend, with plenty still to play for.
Round seven of the Hedley Howarth Championship is the final round-robin before the seeded round, and there is serious congestion mid-table. Just seven points separate Takapuna in third, and Cornwall in seventh.
Howick Pakuranga will play Takapuna at home, and with the Alpacas top of the ladder, they’ll be wanting to make sure they stay there. The Pirates are in a position where a good result could put them ahead of Suburbs New Lynn in second.
Suburbs head down to Papatoetoe Rec, and they’ll want to keep Takapuna at bay. Papatoetoe will be hard to face at home and, they’ll be eager to clear the mid-table crush.
Also eager to distinguish themselves from the middle of the pack will be Parnell. They’ll be making the most of playing East Coast Bays at home.
In the Tom Hellaby Championship, there’s no seeded round.
Currently there are two teams in striking distance of leaders North Shore. Second placed Eden Roskill will be going out all guns blazing against Waitakere at Te Atatu Park for the next two Saturdays.
Grafton, sitting in third place, will be trying to do the same against Ellerslie at Michaels Ave. Ellerslie have shown on their day they can be a tricky prospect, and Grafton needs to get out of the blocks quickly to avoid being left stranded mid-table.
North Shore has proved to be very adept at getting outright wins lately. They’ll be using all that nous to keep the chasers at bay as they head west to play Birkenhead.
Hedley Howarth Championship
Round 7 – Day 1
Papatoetoe vs Suburbs New Lynn – Papatoetoe Rec
Cornwall vs Auckland University – Cornwall Park
Parnell vs East Coast Bays – Shore Road
Howick Pakuranga vs Takapuna – Lloyd Elsmore Park
Tom Hellaby Championship
Round 7 – Day 1
Ellerslie vs Grafton – Michaels Ave
Birkenhead vs North Shore – Birkenhead War Memorial Park
Waitakere vs Eden Roskill – Te Atatu Park
Parnell vs Takapuna – Orakei Domain
Unitak vs Cornwall – Colin Maiden Park
Howick Pakuranga vs Papatoetoe – Lloyd Elsmore Park