Morrinsville Pukekos travel to Taranaki this weekend to face off against the Tukapa Batams in the second semi-final of the NZ Barbarians Under 85 Club Cup. The winner will play the awaiting Carisbrook Bushpigs after the South Island side defeated the Avalon Wolves 22-10.
The Pukekos qualified for the semi-final after overcoming an accomplished Poneke U85 side 17-15. The Pukekos have had one of the longest journeys to this stage of the competition, having played their first match back in May against North Harbour side Takapuna Bombers.
Tukapa have had a slightly less demanding route to the semi-final after an initial comprehensive win over Massey and a Covid-19 enforced default win in the quarter final stages against Waikato-based Fraser Tech due to lockdown restrictions.
Head of Participation Development and Under 85 Club Cup Competition Manager, Mike Hester, said he was pleased that NZR will be able to crown a winner in 2021 following considerable upheaval with COVID-19.
“This season has continued to bring its challenges - as it did in 2020 – and we’ve unfortunately seen various regions moving into lockdown and some teams having to withdraw. The players and teams have remained committed to finishing the season so it’s pleasing we now have the final in sight.
“The 2021 competition this has again been fierce with lots of entertaining games. The talent on the field and interest off it has reinforced the value of weight restricted rugby and the appeal of this competition”.
This weekend’s semi-final will be played at 11:30am on Sunday 7 November at Inglewood’s TET Stadium. The game will be a curtain raiser to the Bunnings Warehouse NPC match between Taranaki and Southland.
The winner will advance to the Final against the Carisbrook Bushpigs on 20 November 2021 with the venue yet to be determined following confirmation of the Bunnings Warehouse NPC finals fixtures.
The game will be live streamed on Tukapara Rugby & Sports Club Facebook Page.