Close encounters in NPC 3
October 18, 1999
East Coast will host the final, their first, in what has already been the best season in their 78-year history. They had to wait until an injury time penalty gave them the decisive lead in their semi-final victory over Horowhenua-Kapiti. The size of the East Coast pack has frequently got them out of trouble but they will probably need to show a little more midfield guile against Poverty Bay.
The Bay will not be overawed up front, in lock Wayne Ensor, their skipper, flanker Johnny Martin and no 8 Mana Pohatu they have skilful ruckers and maulers.They will also have crucial experience on their side and will hope that the Coasters' unaccustomed presence in such a showcase match will prove unnerving.
With the World Cup just a year away, Tom Hamilton picks out five matches to ensure you have tickets for