Busy sporting weekend in store

Three of the nation’s leading basketball teams will show their considerable skills at Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000 tonight and tomorrow.

The Nelson Giants, Wellington Saints and Canterbury Rams will meet each other in the NBL Preseason Blitz tournament, offering the teams a chance for a final pre-season hit-out before the New Zealand NBL tips off next week.

The tournament has been staged in Blenheim before, but this time the format will be different.

There will be two games, beginning at 6.30pm tonight and midday Saturday, with all three teams involved. Games will be played over six quarters and offer a chance to get all the squads involved.

Tickets (offering admission to both games): $10 adults, $5 children. Doors open 45 minutes before the game. Tickets available at Eventfinda or MTF Finance.


Rugby

Meanwhile, more rugby teams kick off their 2021 campaigns this weekend, with women’s and division two competition beginning.

At the top level, all of the region’s four Tasman Trophy contenders are back in action, hoping for a better return in week two after being unable to bag a win over Nelson opposition during the opening round.

Central, who drew with Wanderers last Saturday, meet Kahurangi, who had a bye, at Lansdowne Park. The Blues will be intent on defending the John Goodman Challenge Trophy which goes on the line at home games. Waitohi, who lost heavily to Marist, host Wanderers at Endeavour Park, Picton, Renwick, who were well beaten by Stoke, travel to Jubilee Park, Nelson to play Waimea Old Boys while combined side Moutere/Awatere, who lost to Waimea, are also on the road, taking on Nelson at Trafalgar Park. All games kick off at 3pm.

Four teams will contest the women’s division one title this season, including Moutere, who host Wanderers at Awarua Park, kick off 1.15pm. The other match is between Waimea and Riwaka.

Division two features seven teams. In the opening round Central, the unbeaten champions in 2020, take on MBC Old Boys at Lansdowne Park while Pelorus play Renwick at Havelock. Both games kick off at 1.15pm. In the other match, which begins at 3pm, Moutere meets Awatere in Spring Creek. Waitohi has a bye.


Football

Football enters its second week tomorrow. Rangers AFC, who scored a 6-0 win in the first weekend, were drawn to take on FC Nelson in Blenheim in the Nelson division one competition. However, the Nelson side have defaulted the game, citing a lack of player numbers.

In division one action, Rangers Development, a first round winner, take on Central Wolves at Athletic Park, the match kicking off at 1pm.

BV Masters meet Call Care Trojans at A&P Park while Call Care Hotspurs tackle Central Buccaneers, both sides coming off first round wins. The latter games kick off at 3pm.

In division two, Central Privateers play Rangers Masters and Rangers COM meet Call Care Spartans. Both games are on A&P Park at 1pm. In Picton, the home side takes on Redwood, at 3pm.