Defending champions Old Boys Marist have shown no signs of complacency in the early stages of the Bayleys Premier competition, but three sides are nipping at their heels.

OBM have a perfect five from five with try-scoring bonus points in all matches, but the likes of Western Sharks, Hikurangi and Mid Northern are all in close proximity.

The front-runners take on the winless Mid Western this week and are expected to maintain their perfect start, but an upset is always on the cards.

Western Sharks have quietly compiled four wins from five and take on Hikurangi in the match of the round.


Hikurangi have also started strongly with four wins. Both sides will be looking to keep pace with OBM.

Meanwhile Mid Northern, also four from five, take on Waipu in another tough tussle.

Waipu have suffered two straight defeats so will be targeting this game as a timely return to form.

Kamo, meanwhile, take on Hora Hora after picking up their first win of the year.

Hora Hora have returned to form with two straight wins and will be hoping to maintain their streak.

The final match pits Wellsford and Otamatea against each other with both sides desperate to get points on the board.

Otamatea nearly pipped Kamo at the post last week but start round six with no wins registered.

Wellsford have a slightly better record with one win so far but will be equally wanting of the four points.

Meanwhile Kamo and Waipu will look to continue their unbeaten Premier Reserve seasons and close the gap on leaders Mid Northern.

Waipu can kill two birds with one stone when they take on Mid Northern, who lead the competition despite suffering a loss.

Kamo take on Hora Hora in a very winnable contest for the early season favourites.

In the other matches, Hikurangi and Mid Western battle it out for fourth on the ladder while OBM can also take that spot with a win over bottom-of-the-table Mid Western.

Wellsford and Otamatea meet, both seeking their first win of the campaign.

In the Bayleys Championship, South Zone leaders Moerewa/United Kawakawa and Tomarata are looking to keep their charge towards promotion going.

Moerewa/United Kawakawa face Kaihu, who sit four points outside of the top four, while Tomarata take on Southern.

Meanwhile Whangaruru take on Ruawai, Otiria are at home against cellar-dwellers City and Mangakahia travel to Pipiwai.

Awanui continue to lead the charge in the North Zone but face a stern test when they take on third-placed Ohaeawai/Okaihau.

Awanui are undefeated so far, winning three games as well as picking up maximum points after Kerikeri B defaulted to them.

Eastern and Kaikohe form a battle between two one-loss sides while Kerikeri A have the easiest fixture of the top sides with a match against the winless Te Rarawa.

The other matches see Kaitaia travel to meet Kerikeri B while Kaeo defends home ground against Panguru.