Rotorua United must win the duel in midfield if they are to win a third game in a row in the WaiBOP Premiership, according to manager Ian Walker.

The fourth-placed side will go in search of their eighth win in the competition when they take on fifth-placed Otumoetai FC at home tomorrow.

Walker has stressed their opponents will be difficult to break down - which proved to be the case in the reverse fixture which United won 2-1, scoring in the last minute of the game.

"It will be very close, and it will come down to who wants the win more on the day," he said.


"Otumoetai have a couple of very good attacking players which we must challenge out of the game.

"They also have an experienced and solid back line which we will have to find a way through. I think it will be the battle of the midfield. Whoever dominates in that area will get the result."

United are level on 25 points with Otumoetai FC, but have played two games more.

"A lot is at stake for both of us," said Walker.

"It's neck and neck. That will be obvious on the pitch but we can't let the importance of the match negatively affect us.

"I want to see everyone playing with confidence and creating lots of chances."

United will be at full strength and look to in-form striker Ash Gower-Rudman, who has scored five goals in his last two appearances, to be in clinical form once again.

"Ash has hit some fine form and hopefully he'll be given opportunities."


Elsewhere, top of the table Ngongotaha are aiming to remain unbeaten when they take on strugglers Tauranga Boys' College 1st XI away. They go into the game on the back of a 3-0 win over Katikati FC Ambria.

"Tauranga are struggling but we can't take anything for granted - we are just taking one game at a time," said Ngongotaha midfielder Alan Ferguson.

Tomorrow's games
WaiBOP Premiership:
Kick-off 2.45pm
Rotorua United v Otumoetai FC First Credit Union, Neil Hunt Park 1; Tauranga Boys' College 1st XI v Ngongotaha AFC, Southey 1; SGS Papamoa Premiership v Tauranga City Premiership, Gordon Spratt Park 6; Melville United Prem v Cambridge FC Prem, Gower Park 5; Katikati FC Ambria Premiership v Matamata Swifts Prem, Katikati College 1; Old Blues Prem v Waikato Unicol AFC Prem, Wharepai Domain 1.

WaiBOP Championship:
Kick-off 12.30
Te Awamutu Edmond Judd Champ v Ngongotaha Champ, The Stadium; Old Blues Champ v Waikato Unicol AFC Reserves, Wharepai Domain 1; Hamilton Wanderers Champ v Otumoetai FC Mens, Porritt Stad 1; Whakatane Town Champ v Cambridge FC Champ, Rex Morpeth Park 1; Tokoroa AFC Champ v Matamata Swifts Reserve, Strathmore Park 1; West Hamilton Champ v Taupo AFC Champ, Weka St 1.