Big Fox Memorial showdown at Mount Smart
The much-anticipated meeting of 2018 competition front runners Pt Chevalier and Mt Albert will take place on the big stage at Mount Smart Stadium on Saturday (5.10pm kick-off).
Undefeated at the top of the SAS Fox Memorial Premiership ladder, Pt Chevalier face the Lions for the first time since losing to them in the grand final of the preseason Sportsafe ARL Nines.
It marks a return to Mount Smart's main arena for Fox football with the match serving as the curtain-raiser to the NRL clash between the Vodafone Warriors and South Sydney Rabbitohs (7.30pm kick-off).
To set the scene Vodafone Warriors front rowers Bunty Afoa and Chris Satae modelled their former clubs' jerseys in the photo above; Afoa also played for the Pirates as well as Richmond while Satae is also a former Glenora player).
In recent years meetings between Mt Albert and Pt Chevalier have been a highlight of the first division calendar with the rivalry growing on the back of the two sides facing off in three-straight grand finals between 2013-15.
This round eight fixture will also see former Mt Albert star Daniel Palavi, now with Pt Chevalier, come up against his former side for the first time at this level.
The Pirates have a line-up featuring a raft of players who have played for the Vodafone Warriors in the past in the NRL, Intrust Super Premiership (New South Wales Cup) or the now-defunct NYC competition.
Mount Albert Lions | 17 Dillon Rota; 2 Corey Seator, 3 Peter Oliveti, 4 Roydon Gillett, 5 Cortez Taulu; 6 Trent Wallace, 7 Reece Joyce; 8 Sala Falelua-Malio, 9 Eiden Ackland, 10 Afa Veatupu; 11 Jarrod Tua (c), 12 Joseph Price; 13 Paea Palu. Interchange: 14 Isaac Misky, 15 Kouma Samson, 16 Dion Snell, 19 Saimone Makahili. Coach: Keith Hanley.
Point Chevalier Pirates | 1 Oliver Tuimavave; 2 Mathew Faitotoa, 3 Francis Leger, 4 Gary Fuimaono, 5 Tama Pasene; 19 Jeremiah Pai, 7 Dylan Tavita; 8 Michael Ki, 9 Sioeli Makaui (c), 10 Abraham Papalii; 11 Matti Tuitama, 12 Lokeni Gavet; 13 Daniel Palavi. Interchange: 14 Tevita Latu, 15 Koli Oneone, 16 Kitiona Pasene, 17 Laupepa Pasene. Coach: Zane Pocklington.
Earlier in the day the south Auckland derby between the Papakura Sea Eagles and the Otahuhu Leopards will be streamed live and free on www.aucklandleague.co.nz (coverage from 2pm), with the Leopards aiming to keep pace with the competition’s top four sides and the Sea Eagles seeking their second win of the year.
In other round eight matches, Richmond host Northcote, one week on from the Bulldogs picking up their first win of the season, while winless Marist head to Paparoa Park to face the Howick Hornets.
Mangere East face the in-form Glenora Bears, who are searching for their seventh-straight victory.
SAS Fox Memorial Premiership (2.30pm, Saturday May 26 unless otherwise stated)
Mt Albert v Pt Chevalier at Mount Smart Stadium (5.10pm) - TEAM LISTS - Live on SKY Sport 2
Richmond v Northcote at Grey Lynn Park - TEAM LISTS
Howick v Marist at Paparoa Park - TEAM LISTS
Mangere East v Glenora at Walter Massey Park - TEAM LISTS