Desperation for teams on losing streaks could be costly
After weeks of losing, Feilding and Old Boys-Marist will be desperate for a win ahead of their round seven clash in Manawatu club rugby on Saturday.
But playing desperate rugby could be their undoing.
Both teams have been riding a wave losses of late with Yellows losing four straight and OBM three.
For Feilding, what had started as a season where they were looking to push for a spot in the top four is slowly descending into playing to avoid the wooden spoon.
The positivity of their sole win over Te Kawau in round one has dried up.
But given player availability and a tough slate of matches in the middle of round one, their struggles have not been overly surprising.
The efforts of prop Timo Bristow along with loose forwards Patohe Ropoama-Third and Jesse McKail has given them reason for positivity looking ahead to the second half of the season.
And they still have the likes of Ben Wyness, Matt Dalley and Brad Carr who are all classy operators in the backline.
They will be hoping to meet an OBM side down after watching their spot at the top of the table slip after three consecutive losses.
But it could be what OBM need to buoy them for the middle section of the season.
They experienced a similar losing streak in 2016 only to be the top performing side at the back end of the round robin.
OBM have been missing some key players for much of the season including Ambrose Curtis, Fraser Armstrong and Antonio Kiri Kiri.
But they have the depth that it should not be an issue.
Their performances of late have plagued by errors and a predictable attack and their powerful forward pack have failed to dominate the breakdown.
But don't expect that to continue.
Prop Tuki Raimona has impressed and others in the team would be advised to emulate his intensity.
In the backs, Kameli Kuruyabaki continues to be a promising attacking weapon, but others need to step up.
Varsity have a prime chance to continue their winning streak to five matches when they meet Freyberg.
Freyberg will likely be without Mapa Tuipulotu.
The energy of halfback Jacob Freeman-Broderick will be important for the team, while they will need the likes of No 8 Josh Leung-Wai and prop Regan Hunt to led their effort up front.
Linton Army sniffed an upset against COB last weekend and if they can re-capture their form over the first 60 minutes of the match, they could put some real pressure on Kia Toa.
Kia Toa have likely lost form halfback Atu Henare (broken arm) for the season, but the rest of the backline still has plenty of attacking flair.
COB will need to tidy up their performance if they want to beat Te Kawau at Rongotea.
Te Kawau have yet to put on the perfect performance, but have the players to challenge COB.