Top of the table clash highlights round five
Just one team will be left standing with an unbeaten record as College Old Boys and Old Boys-Marist duel it out in round five of McDonalds Manawatu Senior One Club Rugby.
Both have impressed in the opening weeks of the competition and have easily aced their tests against the other leading contenders.
While Old Boys-Marist have been strong, College Old Boys are the favourites.
A remarkable defensive record that has seen they concede just five points in four weeks couple with the most potent attack in the competition is hard to ignore.
Stewart Cruden has already shown his class at No 10 and they have genuine game-breakers with the likes of James Tofa, Patrick Tafili-Reid and Awatere Kiwara, not to mention Willie Paia’aua on the bench.
Up front, few have been in the kind of form that Johnny Galloway has enjoyed in recent weeks.
OBM have plenty of talent on their own right.
Chris Long and Rhys Pedersen had storming matches against Varsity and will be key again this week.
In the backs, Shadyn Osgood is the dangerman but Jason Temara wound back the clock last week and is another to keep a close eye on.
Feilding Old Boys-Oroua find themselves in an early battle for fourth place as they take on Kia Toa.
The Stags have named a settled side from last week with Jamie Perigo returning to bolster their midfield.
Kia Toa will be hoping to find form again after a change in coach.
Iose brothers, Brayden and Jackson, both start along with in form lock Fraser Stone.
Jono Ihaka is back on the wing and was of the deadliest attacking players when he was fit last year.
Varsity have welcomed back a couple of their New Zealand Universities players for their match against Linton Army.
Kirk Tufuga and Hamish Northcott bring vital experience to the side, while Mickey Woolliams will be be better for last week’s 40-minute effort on return from a shoulder injury.
Flanker Dylan Hall was strong off the bench last week and has been promoted to the starting side.
Te Kawau have a chance to go two in a row, but that will require an upset win over Feilding Yellows.
They have Sam Stewart back this week, with the Turbos hooker now a regular in the No 8 jersey.
Yellows’ young stars will be looking to shine with Drew Wild, Griffin Culver and Josiah Maraku all named to start.
Ben Wyness is missing this week after being called into Hurricanes camp.
Hayden Stratford and Nick Crosswell are the keys to their forward pack.