By Jonno Ross
With pre-season favourites Eastern Suburbs and Western Suburbs off to poor starts, the pace in the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League has been set by two ambitious teams with their own sights set on the title.
Northern Rovers, with a perfect start to the season, lead the table, followed by Auckland United.
And the two clubs meet over the long weekend when fans of the women’s game can get to matches on Friday and Monday.
Main photo: This year’s WPL looks wide open after the opening four rounds. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Here’s our preview of the round, with our recommendations for the neutral spectator:
Auckland United (2nd) v Northern Rovers (1st)
Keith Hay Park, Auckland
We have a top of the table clash this week. Both teams come into this game in red-hot form.
Auckland United haven’t lost since the opening round, with a 1-0 loss to Western Springs.
Since then, they have conceded only once, and have scored eight.
Northern Rovers have also only had to pick the ball out of their own net once this season but have scored three more goals than United, with 11 goals in their four games.
This game is going to be a battle of attack and defence, and Auckland United’s markswoman Tessa Leong will hope to add to her record of a goal a game and stay on top of the Golden Boot chart.
Can Northern Rovers increase their lead at the top to 6 points? Or will Auckland United catch them and draw level? This will be an intriguing game to watch.
Other fixtures (with current league placings):
Western Springs (3rd) v Eastern Suburbs (6th)
Michaels Ave Reserve, Auckland, 7pm kick-off
Tauranga City (8th) v Hamilton Wanderers (7th)
Links Ave Reserve, Tauranga, 2pm kick-off
Ellerslie (4th) v West Coast Rangers (5th)
Michaels Ave Reserve, Auckland, 3:30pm