Tough matches await in round three

Tough matches await in round three

After an opening two weeks littered by big margins, week three of McDonalds Manawatu Senior One Club rugby promises to be much more competitive.

A re-match of last year’s Hankins Shield final between Feilding Yellows and Feilding Old Boys-Oroua is set to be the highlight of the weekend, but there should also be plenty on the line when College Old Boys and Kia Toa meet.

Te Kawau and Linton Army will both be eyeing their first win with both sides coming off back-to-back defeats and set to line-up head to head.

In the other match of the round, Old Boys-Marist face Freyberg.

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Feilding Yellows have made a host of changes for their derby match.

Sean Rankin returns to his favoured No 1 jersey; Harry Jones moves back into the starting side and Kere Marino returns to the side at lock.

Leni Tonga and Patohe Ropoama-Third will join form No 8 Hayden Stratford in the loose forwards.

The backline has a similar feel to the first couple of weeks aside from the addition of former Feilding High School standout Drew Wild, who will line up at first five-eighth.

Feilding Old Boys-Oroua have stuck with their winning formula from last week with the sole change to the starting side being Zyon Hekenui coming into first five-eighth for Layton Manuel.

It will be the Stags first real test of the season having put 90 points on the board last weekend.

Yellows have the advantage of already playing a battle when they fell to OBM in round one.

Kia Toa are missing a host of players but have still named a strong team for their match against College Old Boys.

They are without the likes of Brayden Iose, Tevita Fehoko, Atu Henare and Tobias Wickham-Manuel this week.

But they can rely on the class of Lifeimi Mafi running the cutter and Jackson Iose making his first start of the season on the side of the scrum.

Fraser Stone looked strong in week one and will be another player to watch.

College Old Boys will be looking to back up their strong showing against Varsity where they were defensively superb.

James Tofa and Johnny Galloway have both made strong starts to the season and are worth keeping an eye on.

Te Kawau will be looking to make the most of their homefield advantage against Linton.

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They are still without a large number of players, but not as many as last week.

Hooker Sam Stewart will continue to pack down at the back of the scrum, showing to have learned plenty from his brother who dominated the No 8 jersey last year.

Te Ringa O’Brien is a tidy option at halfback, while Ethan Woodmass is an experienced option at No 10.

Jackson Scully continues to play the utility role starting on the wing having earlier started at flanker.

Old Boys-Marist is looking to build on their winning start to the season as they return to the fold after a week two bye.

Rhys Pedersen has set the tone impressively in his return to the field and will have a big role on the openside flank.

Others to watch will be No 8 Matene Ruawai, returning lock Chris Long and hooker Chris Cairns.

In the backline, James Holland has been handed his first start for OBM in the No 10 jersey having transferred from Te Kawau during the offseason.

Fullback Ben Werthmuller was dominant against Feilding in week one and could be in for a big day.

Freyberg have some relief at prop for the match with Jeremiah Saua and Alesana Mene returning to the fold.

They have also shaken up the backline with Randy Liuvaie given the No 10 jersey having started in the midfield through the opening stages of the competition.

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