Mt Albert v Pt Chevalier is the meeting of two sides who have consistently been the most dominant in the Auckland first division over the last five years, with a number of representative teammates set to do battle.
The majority of the Akarana Falcons team which won the National Premiership were Lions and Pirates players, and as a result there will be a number of intriguing individual clashes come Saturday at Fowlds Park.
“It’s always exciting playing against Pt Chev, they have pretty much been the benchmark for the last four or five years,” Mt Albert captain Marcus Fraser told kiwileaguecentral.com.
“There is a bunch of experience in that team, most of us played together last year for Akarana, so there’s a good relationship there.
“But there’s no friends on the field.
“The boys don’t need to be told to fire up for this game, everyone always wants to play the big games, and Pt Chev are top of the list.
“But it’s not so much about individual match ups. At the end of the day we want the two points.”
Pt Chevalier have been the best team in the competition to date in 2017, sitting atop the ladder with 12 wins and just one loss to their name, while Mt Albert took a huge step towards confirming their place in the play-offs with a 30-16 victory over Mangere East, which coupled with Papakura’s loss to Glenora means they are now six points clear in fourth position.
The Pirates will head into Round 14 off the back of a gritty 34-16 win over the resurgent Northcote Tigers, with captain Dylan Moses keen to see his side find another level against their central Auckland rivals on Saturday.
“We have started the second round pretty well, we took a bit of a backwards step last week, but this is a chance to improve again.
“At this time of the year every game is important and it’s a local rivalry here and lots of the players know each other well.
“With the past and having played three consecutive finals against each other, we got them in the semi-final last year, but it’s always a good game playing Mt Albert.”
The Auckland Rugby League will be providing a free live stream of the match, starting at 2pm on Saturday. Click here to view on the day.