Marist prop Connor McKinnon-Stevenson takes on the Nelson defence at Trafalgar Park earlier this month. The two teams will clash again in a semi- final this Saturday. Photo: Evan Barnes/Shuttersport.

Rivals face off in semi

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Marist will arrive at Trafalgar Park this Saturday afternoon as certain underdogs — but it will have no greater motivation than to tip up its bitter rivals in a semi-final.

Galbraith Group Nelson confirmed its ranking as top qualifier in the Car Company Nelson Bays division one competition after holding off Wanderers 36-33 over the weekend.

It will host the first semi-final at Trafalgar Park, a ground both Marist and Nelson call home.

Nelson co-coach Chris Pugh says, after getting some of their injured players back last week, they’ve now lost a few more.

“We had to take a few guys off to manage injuries so we won’t be at full strength this weekend, but we’ll be close and whoever we put on the park we have total confidence in.”

Chris says Marist’s strong backline and ball runners will be an area they will need to shut down.

“But they’ve got threats all over the park to be honest. These one-off games, you have to be up for them and we will be.”

Marist are coming off two losses in as many weeks, losing to Nelson ten days ago and to bottom-placed Kahurangi at Tahunanui on Saturday.

In the other semi-final, Taylor’s Contracting Wanderers will host Star & Garter Waimea Old Boys in Brightwater.

Along with Kahurangi, Stoke’s season came to an end on Saturday, losing a tight game to Waimea Old Boys 40-38.

Both semi finals will kick off at 3pm.

Results from these games will be in The Nelson App shortly after full time.