PREVIEW: Pressure stays on top trio in Lotto NRFL Women’s Championship

By Joan Grey

Newly-formed Tauranga Moana hold a one-point edge over title rivals Onehunga Sports and Franklin United in the Lotto NRFL Women’s Championship.

The league leaders — who bring together players from Tauranga City, Papamoa and Otumoetai, and are in their first season — have been in a see-saw struggle with the two Auckland clubs.

The trio can’t seem to break free of each other, and when one team falters, the others catch up.

Tauranga Moana’s 1-1 draw against fifth-placed Northern Rovers in the last round was enough to gain the Bay of Plenty team a slender advantage at the top of the table.

They’ll need to up their game against Birkenhead United this round if they want to guard their top-dog position.

Onehunga Sports made a statement with their 7-1 victory over Franklin United in the previous round.

Can they be the team to break ahead? We’ll see. This weekend, Onehunga squares off against Central United.

Franklin United will be eager to move on from their heavy defeat and are pitted against Manukau United.

Meanwhile, Melville United are riding high after impressive recent form, having defeated second-placed Onehunga Sports 2-1 before cruising to a double-digit victory over Manukau United last weekend.

The Hamilton-based side will look to continue their momentum when they face Northern Rovers this round.

As the teams approach the halfway point of the season, injuries may take their toll and squad depths could prove decisive.

Golden Boot

10 — Britney Cunningham-Lee (Franklin United)
7 — Laura Bennett (Melville United)
6 — Kerri-Ann Jones (Tauranga Moana), Sarah Carpenter (Franklin United)
5 — Holly Patterson (Onehunga Sports), Ivy Calonne (Northern Rovers)
4 — Annie Byrne (Onehunga Sports), Grace Duncan (Tauranga Moana)


Games to be played on Sunday June 9, 2024

Birkenhead United v Tauranga Moana
Shepherds Park, Birkenhead, 1pm

Northern Rovers v Melville United
Becroft Park, Forrest Hill, 1pm

Manukau United v Franklin United
Walter Massey Park, Manukau, 1pm

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

Joan Grey

Friends of Football writer Joan Grey loves playing and writing about football.

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