COB hunt for win for centenary celebrations
It is a weekend of celebration for College Old Boys with their centenary festivities so the pressure will be on the senior one side to ensure that Saturday evening is not kicked off on a sombre tone after their match against Kia Toa.
The table-topper are riding high through 11 weeks of the McDonalds Manawatu Senior One season, but Kia Toa are itching to pull of the upset and taken a massive stride back towards a top four finish.
It is hard to see COB stumbling this week given the form and relatively clear injury toll.
Their hard-nosed forward pack, led by Adam Coll, has been effective and disruptive to their opposition this season and they have been boosted by the return of Brice Henderson.
The key to COB’s success has been the dominant midfield of James Tofa and Patrick Tafili-Reid, which is supported by a bunch of potential game-breakers in Stewart Cruden, Michael George and Awatere Kiwara, not to mention Andre Taylor sitting on the bench.
While the club is celebrating 100 years this season, it could claim to be 107 years old according to rugby historian Clive Akers.
“In fact, the present club can be traced back to 1912 when the union had abolished all clubs (including Kia Toa) and introduced the District Scheme, Palmerston being divided into four districts (Northern, Eastern, Southern, Western) each to form its own club.”
One year later, Northern and Southern merged, creating United, who won their first Hankins Shield in 1914.
If COB had of celebrated its centenary in 2012, they would have done so while lifting the Hankins Shield under now Turbos assistant coach Aaron Good.
Kia Toa promise to be a much tougher opponent, especially with the return of first five-eighth Jade Te Rure to lead their backline.
Also back from injury is attacking weapon Jono Ihaka.
Feilding Old Boys-Oroua host their derby match against Feilding Yellows at Kimbolton.
The Stags are missing the injured Junior Laloifi and Shai Wiperi this week which sees pacey flanker Tyler Moeau stationed on the wing.
Yellows have named a tough side for the match, with Josiah Maraku back from injury at centre.
It seems a matter of time before Ben Wyness one of his typical take-control-of-the-game matches.
After back-to-back wins, Te Kawau are no longer going to catch teams by surprise.
But with Liam Mitchell back on deck, it won’t make Saturday’s trip to Kimbolton any easier for Old Boys-Marist.
Te Kawau have had great service from stars Sam Stewart and Kameli Kuruyabaki in the past couple of weeks and they will be key again this week.
OBM have named Jared Deal and TeJay Oliver to start this week after some good impact off the bench.
Varsity will be looking to take care of business when they take on Freyberg.
The Sky Blues have plenty of fire power to come off the bench in the form of Sam Tufuga, Mickey Woolliams, Regan Sword and Te Rangatira Waitokia.