In-form Tauranga to test co-leaders Fencibles in NRFL Women’s Championship

By Joan Grey

Round 16 of the Lotto NRFL Women’s Championship sees Fencibles United and Onehunga Sports tied at the top of the table with 32 points.

A midweek catch-up game between Fencibles United and Franklin United ended in a hard-fought 1-1 stalemate.

The shared point lifted Fencibles into tied first position, while third-placed Franklin inched closer to the leaders, trailing now by just three points.

Game of the week

For the second time this Championship season, Fencibles will traverse the Kaimai Ranges to face Tauranga City.

In that first encounter in Tauranga, Fencibles took a 4-1 victory. More recently, at William Green Domain, Fencibles secured another win over Tauranga, this time 3-0.

But Tauranga has hit a purple patch in recent weeks.

Unbeaten in their last four games, with three convincing wins and a 4-4 draw against tied table toppers Onehunga Sports, Tauranga looks strong for Sunday’s encounter at Links Ave.

Fencibles look even stronger. Unbeaten in their last seven games and sitting atop the table with a game in hand, Fencibles have promotion in their sights.

Manukau United’s Victoria Fatiaki … a proven performer at international age group level. Photo: OFC / Phototek.

Player to watch

Manukau United winger and fullback Victoria Fatiaki’s strength, speed, and skill will stand her in good stead against Onehunga Sports this weekend.

The versatile player is in her last year of high school at Mount Albert Grammar School and recently represented the Cook Islands in the U-19 OFC championship in Fiji.

The Cook Islands reached the semi-finals, and Fatiaki (17) was named Most Valuable Player in their 1-0 victory over the Solomon Islands.

Fatiaki also has full international experience, having played for the Women’s Cook Islands national team at last year’s OFC Championship.

Bold prediction

I think Fencibles United will face a tougher road to victory in Tauranga this time. I’m backing Fencibles to win 2-1.


Games to be played on Sunday July 30, 2023

Tauranga City v Fencibles United
Links Ave, Mt Maunganui, 1pm

Onehunga Sports v Manukau United
Waikaraka Park, Onehunga, 1pm

Te Atatu v Otumoetai
Te Atatu Peninsula Park, Te Atatu, 1pm

Central United v Franklin United
St Peter’s College, Auckland, 12pm

Joan Grey

Friends of Football writer Joan Grey loves playing and writing about football. She plays football for Franklin United.

More football stories