A few questions may well be answered by results in this weekend’s Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League draw.
The results from round one were intriguing with last year’s top sides, Eastern Suburbs and Western Springs, just sneaking home by one-goal margins.
So we’re keen to see how this weekend’s games will play out — and we have a question waiting to be answered for each game.
Here’s how the weekend shapes:
Tauranga City v Auckland United
Links Ave Reserve, Tauranga, 2pm
Promoted Tauranga were given a 6-0 drubbing last weekend by Ellerslie.
Our question: was that a sign the Bay of Plenty side will struggle at this level?
We hope not. The inclusion of a Bay team, as well as a Waikato side, is good for the wider region and it helps if they can be competitive, unlike previous entries from Tauranga in the competition.
Hamilton Wanderers v Ellerslie
Porritt Stadium, Hamilton, 3pm kick-off
Wanderers will be without a number of their squad who wanted last week’s Kate Sheppard Cup final to be their swansong before leaving Hamilton.
One of their cup squad, Sarah Carpenter, is joining Ellerslie so, presumably, could face her old teammates straight away.
Our question: will Wanderers be able to maintain their form with the changes to their squad? We’ll also find out whether Ellerslie’s six-goal success last week was a sign of things to come.
Eastern Suburbs v Northern Rovers
Madills Farm, Auckland, 1pm
This could be interesting — title holders Suburbs beat West Coast Rangers 1-0 last week and should, based on last year’s results, have few problems dispensing with Rovers.
But Rovers have signed Hamilton Wanderers’ long-time defensive duo of Chelsea Elliott and Michaela Foster after their move to the Queen City.
Our question: will a stronger defence make Rovers competitive against the likes of Suburbs?
West Coast Rangers v Western Springs
Fred Taylor Park, Whenuapai, 3pm
It appears these sides have strong defences and could cancel each other out. Don’t be surprised if it’s a low-scoring game.
Our question: can these sides prove us wrong and deliver a goal feast? We hope so!