Nikao is currently leading on the points table after superb wins in the opening round of the competition.
Cook Islands Cricket chief executive officer Davis Teinaki said Nikao had proven a team to beat this season.
“At the moment Nikao is on top of the world. They are executing their cricket skills so well and paid dividend thus far as the only undefeated team in the men’s competition,” Teinaki said.
“They have a combination of experience and young talented players who collectively plays some excellent cricket which is satisfying to see. The experience of Deacon Teapa, Nooroto William, Melody Melota, Teokoitu Pana and Patiiamai Ataela has massively contributed to their successful campaign.”
Arorangi will be no pushover in today’s clash at Nikao Field. The side will be led by the experienced players in Apii Mamanu, Hori Miller and John Glassie. “Arorangi just like Takuvaine is at the fringe of making the top four. A win for them will give them a chance for a top four placing,” Teinaki said.
In the women’s match of the round, Matavera will host Nikao at Matavera Cricket ground at 12.30pm.
Matavera has proven an in form in the competition after beating the defending champion Turangi in round four.
“At the moment they are sitting at the top of the table with Turangi on nine points. Nikao has to bring their A game on Saturday if they want to topple the hot form Matavera,” Teinaki said.
“The women's competition is nerve-wracking at the moment as teams are battling for points.”
There is only one more round remaining after this weekend before women’s teams head to the playoff.
“All points from now on is crucial to making the top four and the playoff.”
The men’s matches will kick off at 3pm.
Tupapa-Takuvaine at Victoria Park – A very interesting tussle as both team sitting on six points with two wins each. Whoever win on Saturday will guarantee a place for them in the top four playoff.
Turangi-Avana II at Turangi Oval – Turangi after a bye last week will be fresh and ready to take on Avana II. The team is still hurting from their disappointing loss to Matavera and wanting their revenge on Avana II. Avana II will be led by Lina Taufahema and Enua Peyroux.
Turangi-Tavana at Turangi Oval – Turangi, one of the strongest team in the competition, will want to continue their winning form against Tavana. The only person that could stop that is Captain Moko with the help of his Tavana team, the can surprise the former champions.
Takuvaine-Nikao II at Happy Valley – If Takuvaine win all their remaining matches, there is a great chance of them making the top four playoff. The side will welcome the return of their strike bowler Televa Marukore in this crucial game. Nikao II has other plans and they would want to spoil things for them. Nikao II skipper Ripper Tauia said they would make it difficult for Takuvaine to get through them.
Tupapa-Matavera at Victoria Park – Tupapa has a brilliant game last week against Tavana and they want to carry that momentum into today’s game against Matavera. Matavera was disappointed after losing to Nikao last week and will be looking to their skipper Ray Roumanu and their top batsmen Osolai Akai, Ben Vakatini and Bobby Hansen for inspiration. Winner of this match will take second spot in the men's competition.