Round five of the OWF League is approaching, and even though we’re only halfway through the tournament we’re starting to get a pretty clear picture as to how the rest of the competition is going to play out at the top of the leader board.
Kiribati suffered their first loss of the tournament during round four, and they are coming up against the dominant Samoans this weekend. Even if the likes of David Katoatau gets back to his Olympic best, the might of the Samoan team just seems too great to overcome right now.
Battle across the Tasman
Australia leapfrogged their old foe, New Zealand, last round to take back second place on the ladder. Australia and NZ are neck and neck though, having copped one loss each (both to Samoa). For one of them to surge ahead, they will need to rack up their aggregate score as much as possible — while also continuing to win as much as possible, of course.
They come up against each other in round six. So don’t be surprised if each team holds back during round five so they can peak for the showdown of November 27th-28th. There are some other factors at play, however.
The Australian team is fortunate that the New South Wales State Championships are on that weekend. So athletes like Ridge Barredo and Jackson Roberts-Young will likely be in good form from preparing to lift in a live competition. It also bodes well for Australia that the New Zealand Nationals are held a couple of weekends prior, so many of their top athletes will have already peaked by the time round six of the OWF League rolls around.
The rest of the field
The real battle is for places fifth through eighth. Teams in this window are all so evenly matched it looks like it will go down to the wire.
The match-up between Nauru and Pacific 1 will be a cracker. Sitting in fifth and sixth place Nauru will need a big week of lifting to take the win and hold onto their spot.