By Jonno Ross
Northern Rovers are clear favourites to take out this year’s Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League after setting the pace in the opening rounds.
But are they susceptible to an upset, given the right conditions?
We think so, and are sticking our necks out with a tip that this weekend might produce Rovers’ first slip-up.
Here’s our preview of the round:
West Coast Rangers (5th) v Northern Rovers (1st)
Huapai Reserve 1, Kumeu
3pm kick-off (note: This was originally scheduled for 1pm but has been updated)
West Coast Rangers pulled off the upset of last week’s round when they beat title-chasing and second-placed Western Springs, thanks to two goals from youngster Emily Lyon.
Rangers will hope she can keep up this goalscoring form, as she also netted the week before in their 10-0 victory over Onerahi in the first round of the Kate Sheppard Cup.
A win for West Coast Rangers could take them above champions Eastern Suburbs who are one point above in the league, and have also played one more game.
A win won’t come easy though, as they face Northern Rovers who have hardly stumbled at all this season, being the only undefeated team in the competition and four points clear at the summit.
Surely, Rovers will have an off day at some stage … and if it’s this Sunday, Rangers arrive with the right credentials for an upset.
Rangers will look to do the trailing pack a favour by being the first take down this North Shore outfit.
I think they can do it — my bold prediction is a 3-2 win for Rangers!
Other fixtures (with current league placings)
Tauranga City (8th) v Western Springs (3rd)
Links Ave Reserve, Tauranga, 3pm
Eastern Suburbs (4th) v Ellerslie (6th)
Madills Farm, Auckland, 1pm
Hamilton Wanderers (7th) v Auckland United (2nd)
Porritt Stadium, Hamilton, 1pm
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.
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