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Big changes to Tui Cup draw

Tana Isaac diving in for a Greytown try in the Tui Cup match against Gladstone last Saturday. Greytown won 14-10. PHOTO/KYLIE ALEXANDER

The draw for Tui Cup premier division rugby matches in Wairarapa-Bush this weekend has undergone dramatic changes due to the second test between the All Blacks and Lions being played, Westpac Stadium that evening.

The match between Gladstone and Eketahuna will now be played under lights at Gladstone tomorrow night while there will be earlier start times for two of the three matches on Saturday.

The Marist-Martinborough encounter will now kick off on the artificial turf, Memorial Park in Masterton at 1pm, and the fixture between Carterton and East Coast at Carterton will start at 1.30pm.

Holding to the usual start time of 2.30pm is the Greytown-Pioneer game at Greytown.

With just three preliminary round matches left in the Tui Cup series before the semi-finalists are found, Gladstone (42 points) and Greytown (40) are almost assured of two of those spots but there is a veritable log jam for the other two with just four points separating five teams — Pioneer (31), Martinborough (30), Marist (29), Eketahuna (28) and Carterton (27).

East Coast, on six points, are out of the reckoning but have made such sharp improvement over the past couple of weeks that no side can afford to take them for granted.

In the senior reserve grade, Masterton Red Star have won 10 from 10 and with 49 points, hold a significant nine-point advantage over Puketoi and Martinborough on 40.

Then come Tuhirangi 38, Greytown and Pioneer 27, Carterton 26, Featherston 19, Gladstone and Eketahuna 15, Marist 7 and East Coast 1.

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