Preview: Teams with strong league form head into Kate Sheppard Cup quarter-finals

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Some of the pre-season favourites for the Kate Sheppard Cup — including holders Wellington United — are already gone from the competition, leaving the way open for new contenders to stake their claim.

That’s likely to happen this weekend as the cup reaches its quarter-finals stage.

With the exception of Tauranga City, the teams remaining in the competition are all among the leading clubs in their regional leagues.

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Here’s how the quarter-finals shape up:

Tauranga City v Auckland United

Tauranga have had a difficult season adjusting to the higher level of competition after winning promotion to the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League.

The side had proven itself as WaiBOP W-League champions but they currently sit at the foot of the WPL table.

But they have shown they can compete for much of the 90 minutes and they go into this quarter-final not without a chance.

Trailing a competition is hard work; the Kate Sheppard Cup must come as a welcome distraction and the Tauranga team will be up for this game.

Reaching a national semi-final would turn a difficult season into one for the club to remember.

Auckland United are fourth in the WPL and have been consistently proficient this season, except for losing games that really matter — their four league losses have all been against the three sides above them.

In terms of form, United should win the tie … but there are no second chances in a cup tie and if Tauranga can stay in the game long enough, the Aucklanders might start to get the wobbles.

Main photo: Tauranga have had a tough initiation to the WPL but don’t write them off in the cup. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Eastern Suburbs v Northern Rovers

Suburbs are the only surviving semi-finalist from the 2021 Kate Sheppard Cup after the elimination of Hamilton Wanderers, Coastal Spirit and holders Wellington United.

Their season got off to a poor start and it’s only recently they’ve looked like the team that’s won back-to-back WPL titles.

They are ready now to give Northern Rovers a real challenge.

Rovers look set to win the WPL, having a nine-point lead and with a game in hand. They’re unbeaten in all competitions this season and must fancy their chances of a league-cup double.

Don’t be surprised if this game goes to extra time and even penalties.

Palmerston North Marist  v Waterside Karori

Marist and Waterside Karori have been among the best sides in this season’s W-League.

Marist knocked out cup holders Wellington United after a penalty shoot-out in the third round of the cup, while Waterside Karori beat four-time runners-up Petone 3-0.

Cashmere Technical v Dunedin City Royals

Led by international midfielder Kate Loye, Technical knocked out Coastal Spirit in the last round. They are currently second in the Canterbury Women’s Premier League, 12 points behind Spirit who are undefeated in the league.

Dunedin City Royals are the runaway leaders in the Southern Women’s Premier League, andy have won all their 10 fixtures and scored 80 goals, conceding one.

In the last round of the cup they beat their nearest league challengers, Otago University, 4-0.

Dunedin Technical, one of four clubs to form the Royals through a merger, won the cup in 2018.

Kate Sheppard Cup quarter-finals


Tauranga City v Auckland United
Links Ave, Tauranga, 2.30pm

Eastern Suburbs v Northern Rovers
Madills Farm, Auckland, 2pm

Palmerston North Marist v Waterside Karori
Arena Manawatu, Palmerston North, 12.30


Cashmere Technical v Dunedin City Royals
Update: Transferred to English Park from Garrick Memorial Park, Christchurch, 1pm

The Kate Sheppard Cup is supported by the NZ Football Foundation.

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