Peter is a sports writer at the Bay of Plenty Times

Rugby: Fierce scrap for Premier spots

Add a comment
Whakarewarewa No8 Eru Wano-Smith grabs a loose ball against Greerton Marist last week.
Whakarewarewa No8 Eru Wano-Smith grabs a loose ball against Greerton Marist last week.

Which teams will make it into the top eight of the new competitions that kick off next weekend will be decided around the Bay of Plenty tomorrow.

The evenness of this season throughout the grades is evident in how there is no certainty who will fill the final four places in the top eight of the Premier division or the top four of Division One.

In the new competition, the top eight Premier teams after tomorrow's play form a new Premier division, with the bottom four and the first four Division One teams forming Premier Two and the remaining eight Baywide teams creating Division One.

The battle for the Premier bottom four spots is a classic Tauranga v Rotorua scrap.

One of Rangataua (27 points), Greerton Marist (26), Rotoiti (24) and Whakarewarewa (22) will miss out.

The clash between Rotoiti and Greerton Marist beside Lake Rotoiti and Te Puna and Rangataua Sports at Te Puna are tough to predict with in-form, evenly matched sides.

Whakarewarewa are behind the others on points but have the easiest draw and should get maximum five points at home against Paroa.

The Te Puna v Rangataua Sports match at Maramatanga Park will be intense.

"Our approach into this weekend's game against Te Puna is a do-or-die one as we are yet to be guaranteed of our spot in the top eight," Rangataua coach Aramahou Ririnui said.

"The importance of this game is that we are going to treat it like a final, simply because if we don't win or get a bonus point, we will be relegated to Division One for the next round."

Te Puna coach Daniel Quate says Rangataua are definitely their biggest rivals in the competition.

"So regardless of the situation whether it's a pre-season game or a knock out game it's always a pretty brutal match.

"Our goal for the first round was to finish in the top four and we need to win on Saturday if that is to happen."

At the other end of the table Mount Maunganui are not yet crowned as first round winners but would need to lose at home to Opotiki to give second placed Tauranga Sports a chance.

In Division One, six clubs are still in contention to make the top four and move up to Premier Two next week, including Rangiuru and Judea.

- Bay of Plenty Times

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 26 Sep 2016 06:52:42 Processing Time: 517ms