PREVIEW: Friday fixtures for leading pair in Lotto NRFL Southern Conference

By Jack Sharp

Leading clubs Cambridge and Claudelands Rovers both have Matariki fixtures, giving them the chance to stretch the gap between them and clubs that play on Saturday.

Cambridge should win their 11th successive Lotto NRFL Southern Conference game against Waipa neighbours Te Awamutu who are yet to register a win this season.

Claudelands Rovers, who are shaping as the only side capable of catching leaders Cambridge, have a home match against Papamoa, who beat Otumoetai 2-1 in midweek.

Game of the week

For entertainment, the Taupo v Otumoetai match shapes as a potential goal-fest.

Putting aside Cambridge’s record, these two sides have the best goalscoring records in the conference, suggesting Saturday’s match could see them going end to end.

Both sides have capable goalscorers, with Dylan Foster and Joe O’Donoghue hard to stop for Taupo and 10-goal Jack Boland leading the way for Otumoetai.

Taupo hit seven against Ngongotaha Lakes in round seven, and then plundered six against Te Awamutu last weekend.

Otumoetai have stuttered lately but can hit their straps on the right day.

Bold prediction

Claudelands Rovers lost 2-1 to Waikato Unicol last weekend, so need to beat Papamoa to keep within sight of leaders Cambridge.

I’m tipping they’ll do it but Papamoa will make them work hard for the win.

Rovers to win by a one-goal margin.

Golden Boot

17 — Bailey Webster (Cambridge)
12 — Krishaant Singh (Claudelands Rovers)
10 — Jack Boland (Otumoetai), Jack Connor (Cambridge)
9 —  Josh Clarkin (Cambridge)
7 — Henry Stephen (Claudelands Rovers), Andrew Cooper (Papamoa), Kjay Morehu (Waikato Unicol), Steffano Riley (Ngongotaha Lakes)
6 — Dylan Foster (Taupo), Joe O’Donoghue (Taupo)


Games to be played on Friday June 28, 2024

Claudelands Rovers v Papamoa
Galloway Park, Hamilton, 3pm

Cambridge v Te Awamutu
John Kerkhof Park, Cambridge, 3pm

Games to be played on Saturday June 29, 2024

Taupo v Otumoetai
Crown Park, Taupo, 3pm

Ngongotaha Lakes v Waikato Unicol
Tamarahi Reserve, Ngongotaha, 3pm

Jack Sharp

Jack Sharp is a long-time follower of club football in New Zealand and is a volunteer writer for Friends of Football. You can show your appreciation for his work by buying him a coffee.

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