Apologies for making you all wait a couple of days more for my round up of the seven games played over the Queen’s Birthday Weekend, but – whether you’re a rugby follower or not – i’m sure you’ll all know their is a pack of British Lions in town for the first time since 2005. I know the correct term is “pride”, but sadly that’s not something i’ve witnessed in the 2017 Lions Squad players picked to play in the first two games of the tour. Let’s hope they can make the Queen and their British fans proud on Saturday, and make give the AB’s a decent Test later this month.
In terms of the football played last Sunday, the only league game was a Championship catch up game between Kiwi True Blues and the University of Auckland. The 3 points went to the home team, with KTB winning 4-2, leapfrogging their opponents and AUT FC into second place as a result. The top 2 teams in this division are now the two teams promoted from League 1, with the third and fourth placed teams being taken by the two teams relegated from the Premiership. United hold a 3 point lead at the summit, whilst second, third and fourth are separated by only two points. AUT’s catch up game against City Fringe was postponed for a second time, meaning they could still reclaim the top spot if they were to win their games in hand.
AUT’s second team may still be bottom of League 1 but were able to follow up last week’s penalty shootout win against Nixon park with a 2-1 away win over League 2’s 6th place Auckland Unicorns, putting them into the next round of the League 1, League 2, Conference Cup (they face League 2 leader’s Viti FC away in the next round).
HNK’s (1st, League 1) reward for putting 10 (ten) goals passed Zamantix Force (3rd, League 2) in their cup match last Sunday is a home tie against Dalian (5th, League 1), whilst Kamarak (7th, League 1), who narrowly beat Double Rum Greenhithe (2nd, League 2) 2-1, face a tough away game against Zamantix Rovers Return (3rd, League 1) in the next round. the 4th Quarter Final of this cup competition will feature the leaders of our new Masters league, Old Fellas, playing a home tie against Auckland Wanderers (2nd, League 1), both of whom enjoyed a bye in the last round.
In the first round of the L1, L2, Conference plate, Nixon park were able to take out their frustrations of losing to AUT’s reserve team last week on the reserve team of the University of Auckland, progressing into the Quarter Finals with a comfortable 5-1 win. Ironically, their reward is an away tie at the only other tertiary team in the competition, Massey-Albany FC. Massey-Albany’s place in the Quarter Finals was secured with a 3-2 win over Aotea Sport Eastern, a team three places above them in League 2 (who they drew 2-2 against in League 2 several weeks ago). Finally, Zamantix Old Boys secured their place in the next round of the Plate by beating fellow Masters League outfit Grenhithe City 3-1. Tonight’s draw has been kind on the Old Boys, giving them a trip down SH1 to the Masters League’s bottom side, Pukekohe.
The other two Quarter Finals of the L1, L2, Conference Plate will see a winless All Red (8th, League 2) catching the ferry to take on Waiheke Old Fullas (2nd, Masters) and Serious (4th, Masters) playing at home against an unpredictable U-Striker (5th, League 2).
In the Quarter Finals of the Premiership-Championship Plate, Bohs Celtic 1 (7th, Premiership) have been drawn at home against Khukuri (5th, Championship), Auckland Volcanoes (3rd, Premiership) are at home against the Patriot (8th, Premiership), SudAmerica (7th, Championship) face City Fringe (8th, Championship) at home, whilst UoA (4th, Championship) have an away game against Kingsland Athletic (6th, Championship). These final fixtures guarantee that their will be at least 2 Championship teams in the draw for the semi-finals, whilst i’m sure Khukuri will enter their match against Boh’s with every intention of causing an upset.
There’s no easy games for any of the Premiership teams in the Quarter Finals of the Premiership-Championship Cup, with Zamantix Rovers (1st, Premiership) having to travel away to face United FC (1st, Championship) and Boh’s Celtic 2 (5th, Premiership) facing holders Auckland Wanderers (2nd, Premiership) in the only all Premiership tie of the round. Independiente (4th, Premiership) will host AUT (3rd, Championship) and finally, in a game that has giant-killing written all over it, KTB (2nd, Championship) will host Internationale (6th, Premiership).
Next weekend sees us return to league action.
Thanks for reading. See you all again next week.