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Tuhirangi tackle big improvers Red Star

Tuhirangi, blue and white, have been the benchmark in senior reserves for many seasons. PHOTO/PETE NIKOLAISON

Ryan Cup Senior Reserve Final

Tuhirangi v Masterton Red Star, Memorial Park 1pm [Matt Perry]

Tuhirangi will start warm favourites to win the senior reserve championship against Masterton Red Star, who returned to the competition this season after not fielding any adult teams in 2020.

Tuhirangi easily won their round-robin clash 41-19, but Stars’ coach Chris Senior said his team have improved significantly in the two months since

“Tuhirangi are probably hands down the best team in that competition for quite a few years now, and they’ve been together a long time,” said Senior.

“When we went down there, the boys just got shell-shocked. They got into us and we didn’t know what to do.

“They destroyed us in the forwards with that hard farming mentality, and hopefully, we’ve learnt a lot from that, and it’s about us trying to get equal in some of those collision zones.”

Senior said it was always a three-year plan to get the club back as a competitive force when he returned this year after coaching the Carterton premier side.

Senior said Red Star would probably challenge Martinborough for promotion-relegation if they win today’s final and come through relatively unscathed.

Hodder-Steffert Cup Final

Pioneer v Eketahuna, Memorial Park 11am [Pete Semmens].

The game that teams often struggle to get motivated for, but often produces a free-flowing, open spectacle.

Eketahuna have struggled with a heavy injury toll over the latter part of the season, so much will depend on what sort of squad they can assemble for the match.

Pioneer have been one of the big improvers and a trophy would be just reward for the hard work the club put in for only their second season back in the premier championship.

Pioneer won their round-robin clash 18-17, and a similarly close scoreline would not surprise.

President’s Cup Senior Reserve Final

East Coast v Gladstone, Memorial Park No 2 11am, [Vaea Peterson].

Both teams come into the final on the back of big semifinal wins – East Coast 31-7 over Marist, Gladstone 42-5 over Greytown.

Nothing separated the teams on the competition table, with both finishing on 17 points, and Gladstone won their round-robin encounter 25-17. Gladstone in a close battle.

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