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Hot favourites in Tui Cup matches

Tipene Haira scoring for Martinborough last weekend against Marist. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

RUGBY
GARY CAFFELL

If the form book is anything to go by it should be rather a ho-hum affair when matches in the Wairarapa-Bush Tui Cup premier division competition continue today.

In each of the four games there will be hot favourites and while the likelihood of upsets can never entirely be discounted at this still relatively early stage of the season, it would be a major surprise if they happened to occur.

Eketahuna v Martinborough
Eketahuna at 2.35pm: Rebecca Mahoney, just back from officiating at the world sevens series in Japan and before that the Commonwealth Games, will have the whistle for this match.

Rebecca Mahoney will have the whistle for the Eketahuna versus Martinborough match. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

Eketahuna will be trying to stop the Martinborough juggernaut which has posted big scores in all three of their Tui Cup matches so far this season.
Martinborough are playing an entertaining brand of rugby with the clear emphasis on attack.
One suspects their already impressive tally of tries will be quite substantially increased in this one.

Carterton v Marist
Carterton at 2.35pm: Marist have enough size and physical endeavour in their tight forwards to keep Carterton honest in the set pieces up front, but if Carterton can free up enough ball to give their backs the chance to regularly stretch their legs then they should be the catalyst to what should be a comfortable victory.
They have plenty of pace out wide and if Marist fall off their tackles as they did all too often against Martinborough last weekend they will be in deep strife.

Greytown v Masterton Red Star
Greytown at 2.35pm: It’s hard not to get the feeling that Greytown are just starting to hit their straps and that’s bad news for a Masterton Red Star line-up which is still very much finding its feet at premier division level.
Greytown should have a clear advantage at both forward and back so another hard day at the office is on the cards for their opposition.

East Coast v Gladstone
Whareama at 2.35pm: The old adage that possession is nine-tenths of the law could be the big problem for East Coast as Gladstone have the size and strength to dominate the forward exchanges and what is an inventive East Coast rearguard could find themselves existing on scraps.
Not only that, they will also have to find a way to combat the proven attacking qualities of what is a pretty sharp Gladstone backline.

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