By Jonno Ross
Form suggests the top four teams should all win in this weekend’s round of games in the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League.
Leaders Northern Rovers play bottom-placed Tauranga City, while the chasing pack of three teams all need to avoid slip-ups to stay in contention.
Here’s our preview of the round, with our recommendations for the neutral spectator:
Hamilton Wanderers (7th) v Eastern Suburbs (4th)
Porritt Stadium, Hamilton
it has been a difficult start for Hamilton Wanderers this season, losing their first five games, but they finally caught a break last week with a hard-earned victory against fifth-placed West Coast Rangers.
This result bought them off the bottom of the league, lifting them into seventh spot.
They will hope this is the turning point in the season for them to crack on and earn more points to move up the ladder.
This will be no easy task, however, as they now face an Eastern Suburbs team that scored 11 goals in their last outing, against bottom-of-the-league Tauranga City.
Suburbs were 4-1 up at halftime and put on an absolute blitz in the second half, scoring seven goals in 29 minutes.
Jade Parris and substitute Juliette Lucas both scored hat-tricks so Hamilton Wanderers will need to contain this in-form pair to stay in the game.
Other fixtures (with current league placings):
Auckland United (3rd) v West Coast Rangers (5th)
Keith Hay Park, Auckland, 3pm
Tauranga City (8th) v Northern Rovers (1st)
Links Ave Reserve, Tauranga, 2pm
Ellerslie (6th) v Western Springs (2nd)
Michaels Ave Reserve, Auckland, 3pm
How they stand
Last weekend’s games
Friends of Football writer Jonno Ross is a former New Zealand U-20 goalkeeper who is the team manager for Mount Albert Ponsonby. He supports the All Whites, the Football Ferns, the Wellington Phoenix and Arsenal.