Friday, April 17
Week four of the Citizen’s Shield will feature three intriguing match-ups.
Athletic Marist and Kurow will clash at Whitestone Contracting Park number 5, Excelsior tackle the unbeaten Old Boys at Whitestone Contracting Stadium and Maheno will battle Valley in the battle of the neighbours at Maheno on Saturday.
Last weekend saw Old Boys show Maheno why they are firm titles favourites after just three weeks with an emphatic 99-12 victory over the green and blacks.
Excelsior travelled to Kurow and were well-beaten by the home side suffering a 27-8 loss and allowing Kurow to pick up a four-try bonus point for the first time this season.
The final game last weekend resulted in a 14-man Athies team sneaking home 19-18 thanks to a second-half try to Kilioni Taufa, after they spent the whole second half without fullback Ian Taueli, who was shown a red card for a silly off-the-ball incident on Valley halfback Phil Wilson.
Old Boys coach Kilifi Fangupo said Excelsior are always a tough opponent and this weekend will be no different.
“We never take them lightly, Blues are always tough and we need to play like how we did last week because if we don’t they’ll show us up.”
He said his club enjoyed battling against Excelsior.
“It’s alway a good battle facing them, and we are confident that when game day approaches we can tackle them from the start.”
Fangupo said the side came through unscathed last week on the injury front and would look to build more momentum heading forward.
Maheno and Valley, who are both winless, collide this weekend and Maheno coach Mark Wilson said the guys were looking forward to it.
“We’ve blanked out last weekend and are focusing on the future now, starting with Valley this weekend. We know they’re a tough side and won’t be easy.”
Wilson said the chance to play at home was a boost for the side.
“We’re back at home after a couple of trips to Kurow and Whitestone Contracting Stadium, so it’ll be good to play in front of our supporters.”
So far the side has come through unscathed on the injury front and trained well on Tuesday night. Wilson was confident they could register their first win of the season.
Kurow travel into town for the first time this season and will have their depth tested against Athies with five players away at a wedding.
Coach Kevin Malcolm said Athies was always a tough task.
“They’re always tough and won’t be easy but we’re confident with the depth we have this year that we can go down there and get the desired result.”
He was pleased with last week’s performance.
“The guys played outstanding football last week and hopefully we can replicate that again this weekend.”
Meanwhile, the depth of the Kurow club is resurgent this year with the side having a combined B team, which will feature players from Eastern.
Malcolm said it was good to have numbers.
“Player depth is a good issue to have and something the team hasn’t had for a while.”
All games kick-off at 3pm.
By Brayden Lindsay