Peter is a sports writer at the Bay of Plenty Times

Rugby: Battle of Bridge set to be epic

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Nick Evemy is a key attacking weapon for Tauranga Sports.
Nick Evemy is a key attacking weapon for Tauranga Sports.

Any Battle of the Bridge clash between Tauranga Sports and Mount Maunganui Sports is always a highlight of the Baywide season.

Tomorrow's latest epic to be played at Tauranga Domain is set to be a fascinating insight into who may prevail in what has been one of the most even competitions in years.

It may only be round two tomorrow of the new Premier 1 division but whoever can get on top will gain a crucial psychological advantage as well as the match day points on offer.

Both Baywide heavyweights won last week and will look to go up a few notches in intensity at The Domain.

Tauranga Sport's coach, Zane Winslade, was pleased with how his team's set piece went last week against Te Puke Sports.

He is looking for smarter use of the ball in hand against the Mounties.

"We will definitely need to improve our exit plays and kicking game and really bring some physicality into our defence.

This weekend, hopefully, we can start to cut down our error rate and settle into the game, which should be an exciting battle," Winslade said.

"The Jordan Cup is also a great old trophy and the boys would enjoy having a drink out of it again, so this match is a great opportunity to get our hands on that and move towards the top of the table.

"The team is looking forward to the challenge of playing the Mount as they have been the form team of the season."

Mount Maunganui coach Rodney Voullaire is looking forward to the test of playing Tauranga Sports.

"We will be at full strength bar one [Nico Malo] who is currently playing Development as he returns from injury," he said. "A number of our boys are wanting to prove to Bay of Plenty rugby selectors that they have got what it takes to secure a jersey in the Bay of Plenty Development and Steamers teams this year, so they will be hungry to perform."

It will be a special day for Mount Maunganui utility back Malakai Kisina, who plays his 100th game for the club.

In other Premier 1 games, Rotoiti host Rangatua Sports at Emery Park, high-flying Whakatane Marist travel to Maramataga Park to face Te Puna and Greerton Marist host Te Puke Sports at Greerton Park.

Meanwhile, in the Baywide Division One competition, Judea take on Rangiuru at Maharaia Winiata Memorial Park.

Rangiuru won the last match between them by a narrow two-point margin. "We will be focusing on what went well the last game we played Rangiuru which was a solid set piece, quick hands and take advantage of our opportunities," Judea coach Dion Seeling said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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