Familiar faces for Otara and Otahuhu

  1. It already shapes as a key clash of two south Auckland giants, but Saturday’s Sharman Cup match between Otahuhu and Otara will also be headlined by a number of personal rivalries.

    Of the 17 players named to take the field for Otara this Saturday, seven of them have played previously for Otahuhu, in addition to coach Shontayne Taratu who coached the club’s U20 side before moving across to Otara this year, while a number of the Leopards players also have close links to players in the Scorpions side.

    Injured Otahuhu skipper Freddie Turuwhenua said it adds another dimension to the match at Bert Henham Park.

    “A fairly big part of our team have friends or family playing for Otara, so it’s not only points on the board at stake, there’s a friendly rivalry there,” Turuwhenua said.

    “We are also coming up against last year’s U-20s coach, so there is a bit of history there, but everyone is excited for that.

    “I think that’s going to bring out the best in everyone.”

    Media has been hidden. Please Register to view.While Otahuhu were comfortable 46-14 winners over Papatoetoe last week, Otara went down 38-28 to pre-season favourites Ponsonby at home.

    Scorpions captain Terrence Montgomery, himself a former Leopards player, said his side never gave themselves a chance due to a slow start against Ponsonby and called on them to address it come Round 2.

    “Ponsonby’s forwards kind of shocked us a bit in the first half. The score at half-time was about 20-6, they were leading by quite a big margin, we started coming back but it just wasn’t enough,” Montgomery said.

    “We want to try and put some points on. I think some of it is just a mindset and everyone making sure they are there for each other early on.

    “Otahuhu will have a simple game plan. We know there forwards and smart and agile as well as being powerful, it’s just up to us to match it.”

    The match kicks off at 2.30pm and will be broadcast free to air online. You can view the stream by clicking here.

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