Kia Toa and Varsity in fight to get their seasons on track
Kia Toa and Varsity will both be hoping to bring some positivity back into their season with a big performance in the Easter Friday round of McDonalds Manawatu Senior One Club Rugby.
Both sides have been struggling over the last couple of weeks, but it seems inevitable that they will turn their fortunes around. On paper, Varsity look best equipped to take control this week on the back of their unexpected week off last week. Tom Hughes returns at lock and Te Rangatira Waitokia will make his first start of the season at fullback.
The midfield is also looking strong with Ueta Tufuga and Hamish Northcott. For Kia Toa, they will be hurting after falling just short against Feilding Old Boys-Oroua.
They have shifted Dan Monaghan into first five-eighth this week, allowing dangerman Jono Ihaka to start at fullback.
In the pack they are missing Brayden Iose, but brother Jackson has been in strong form and lock Fraser Stone has a tendency to turn on big games when opposing highly rated locks on the opposition.
College Old Boys will be looking to go full steam ahead when they face Feilding Old Boys-Oroua. COB have looked unstoppable this season with a nice balance of a tough forward pack and some game-breaking backs. But FOB-Oroua have proven their ability to hang in matches.
Layton Manuel gets the start at first five-eighth while Alex Hawira and Nardus Eramus are the keys to the forward pack. One week on from defaulting to Varsity, Linton Army has a chance to secure their first win of the season. The military men are positive that they will field a competitive side for the match with the likes of Jaxon Tagavaitau and TeJay Oliver giving them so x-factor.
But Freyberg will similarly be feeling confident of getting the win. They have fielded a settled team over recent weeks and have most of their key players on deck this week. Look out for them to use their scrum, headed by Jeremiah Saua and Isaac Tupa’i, to take control of the match.
Old Boys-Marist are down a host of players for their match against Te Kawau. Halfback Hunter Waller and second five-eighth Cam Black are the only constants from the backline that lost to COB last week. In the pack, they are missing Rhys Pedersen (concussion), but have Matene Ruawai (calf) back on deck.
Te Kawau are missing two key players in Sam Stewart and Ethan Woodmass.