WAENGAPU Stallions have been experiencing a good old case of déjà vu over the past week.
The fourth-placed team in the Gisborne Cosmopolitan Club rugby league competition had a narrow loss to Turanga Panthers last weekend.
They now face a tough game against one of this season’s frontrunners, the Falcons, at Heath Johnston Park at 2.30pm tomorrow.
Rewind to week four of the competition and they were in the same situation.
Then, as now, Stallions player-coach Jay Casey described the loss against the Panthers as disappointing, especially leading into a Falcons match.
But while they were on the wrong side of Saturday’s scoreboard (44-36 to Panthers), the Stallions put in a strong performance at the weekend.
Stand-off Pepene Hoepo was influential in his role, as was Brad Kiwara, who scored a hat-trick of tries and four conversions last week.
Nesta Turnball, Ra Green, Mosese Yalidole and Casey also put in solid performances and have done so each week.
No doubt these players will be among a core of playmakers for the Stallions tomorrow.
One team hoping to repeat their first-round performance are Te Urewera Raiders, who play the Panthers at Awapuni Sports Stadium at 2.30pm tomorrow.
The Panthers were the Raiders’ first scalp of the competition during the first round and at that time the loss to the newbies came as a shock to the Panthers.
However, the result does not seem as unlikely this time, with the improving Raiders coming off the back of a win against Repongaere Eels and a spirited game against the Falcons three weeks ago.
Raiders coach Mark Winitana set a goal at the end of the first round to get more wins on the board, especially against teams they had come close to beating or had beaten.
The Eels face Tapuae at Awapuni at 1pm tomorrow in what should also be an interesting match.
The Eels had a poor first half against the Raiders last week but once they got back into the game, they showed just how unpredictable they could be.
Third-placed Tapuae Taniwha beat the Falcons a fortnight ago and last week they lost a close game against reigning champions and curent table-toppers Eastland Engineering Paikea Whalers. On that form, Tapuae start as favourites tomorrow.
The Whalers meet cellar dwellers Eastern Knights at Awapuni at 11.30am tomorrow.