It's crunch time tomorrow as the top eight teams of the new competition that kicks off next weekend will be decided.

The evenness of this season's Premier division is evident in that 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 will 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 Rotorua versus Tauranga 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.

But Rotoiti go into the crucial fixture on the back of last weekend's 28-20 frustrating away defeat at sixth placed opposition Rangataua, having previously won their last four games in a row.

"This game means everything to us. We want to be fighting it out for the Premier title and so we have to get a win," Rotoiti vice-captain Joe Royal said.

"All the boys were disappointed with the result last weekend. We did do some good things but we made it hard for ourselves and now everything is very tight in the competition.

"Hopefully the home advantage will pay off but Greerton have a very dangerous pack. We must minimise the mistakes and play for the the win."

Whaka are behind the others on points but have the easiest draw and should get maximum five points at home against Paroa. However, they suffered a narrow 22-20 loss away at Greerton Marist last Saturday and coach Kopae Irihei is taking nothing for granted.

"I would say we have a little advantage but Paroa won't roll over and we are having to rely on other teams, which is far from ideal," he said.


"All of the four teams are in the same boat - we are all desperate and it's do or die for all of us. I think each of the four clubs deserves to be in the top eight but sadly one has to miss out, I just hope it isn't us.

"Everybody wants the chance to compete for the trophy and it's a very open league this season, anyone could get their hands on it and all the boys in the team want a shot at it."

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

This weekend's games:
Baywide Premier men
* Tonight (Kick-off 7.30pm)
* Te Puke Sports v Arataki, Murray Salt Stadium tomorrow

Baywide Premier men
* (Premier 2.45pm, Development 1pm)
* Rotoiti v Greerton Marist, Emery Park; Whakarewarewa v Paroa, Puarenga Park; Mt Maunganui v Opotiki, Blake Park; Te Puna v Rangataua, Maramatanga Park; Tauranga Sports v Whakatane Marist at Tauranga Domain.

Premier points
* Mount Maunganui Sports 42, Tauranga Sports 40, Whakatane Marist 35, Te Puna 33, Te Puke Sports 32, Rangataua 27, Greerton Marist 26, Rotoiti 24, Whakarewarewa 22, Opotiki 7, Arataki 7 Paroa 4.

Division 1
* (Kick off 2.45pm, except * 2.30pm)
* Papamoa v Katikati, Gordon Spratt Reserve; Marist St Michael's v Kahukura, Marist Park*; Rangiuru v Poroporo, Centennial Park; Te Teko v Waikite, Dunderdale Park; Ngongotaha v Judea, Ngongotaha Reserve. Ruatoki Bye.

Division 1 points
* Ngongotaha 34, Poroporo 33, Rangiuru 31, Judea 29, Waikite 28, Marist St Michael's 26, Te Teko 24, Kahukura 11, Katikati 10, Ruatoki 9, Papamoa 5.