Plains Rangers hosted Tauranga Old Blues on Saturday, looking to avenge their only loss in the first round. Rangers played with the breeze behind them in the first half. However they struggled to adjust their play to the conditions, with a number of passes running away from them. The visitors played a good composed style and held a slight advantage of possession. The Rangers defence did well though and keeper Christian Wetting didn't have many problems.
The game continued to be a tight affair in the second half, but Rangers upped their periods of control. The game opened up midway through the half. After twenty minutes Rangers came close. A corner was headed goalwards by Jon Barnes, cleared by a defender, headed back again by Rangers and cleared off the line by another Old Blues defender. Old Blues came back with a thunderous shot from 35 metres that keeper Wetting got fingertips to, to force it onto the crossbar. Minutes later a well worked move by the visitors opened a chance in the box and the shot was well placed to give them the lead. Rangers came back and centre midfielder Hamish Wilde scored with a powerful drive from 20 metres. Both teams worked hard to find the winner, but the score remained Plains Rangers 1, Old Blues 1.
The result drops Rangers to second place on goal difference, behind Taupo, who won 2 – 0 at home to Tauranga City. Player of the day for Rangers was Aaron Muggeridge, who did a good job linking up the front play. Others to impress were Carl Imlig, who worked well in the centre of defence with Ian Gray, and the competitive Jamaal James. This Saturday Rangers are away to Waiariki, who surprised by downing third placed Old Blues the previous week.
On Sunday Plains Rangers women were at home to Tauranga Blue Rovers. Lovely sunny conditions made the game very enjoyable. Laura Powick's great work up front, including scoring the goal, earned her player of the day. Also in top form were: Rhylee Mahy in defence, Sarah Boyce in the midfield, Jenny McIntyre on the wing and keeper Michelle Corbett. The score was Plains Rangers 1, Blue Rovers 3.
Next Sunday Rangers women are away to Kawerau Sports.