2019 SAS Fox Memorial Premiership Grand Final
The Mt Albert Lions and Howick Hornets will meet in the Auckland first division Grand Final for the first time in history this Friday night (5.30pm kick-off NZT).
After finishing as the top two ranked sides at the end of the regular season, the match at Mount Smart Stadium will be the third time the pair have faced off in the space of four weeks, after they met in the final round of competition play before playing again in the qualifying semi-final a week later.
Mt Albert won both of those encounters over the minor premiers, but prior to that the Lions had endured a dry spell against the Hornets.
For Mt Albert it marks a return to the SAS Fox Memorial Premiership Grand Final for the first time since 2015, while the wait has been even longer for Howick, who haven't appeared in the decider since back in 2011.
The east Aucklanders won the competition that year, with their side including one-time New Zealand Warrior Anthony Gelling and Jason Tavita, the father of Vodafone Warriors rookie Chanel Harris-Tavita.
Mt Albert v
5.30pm kick-off, Friday August 30
Mount Smart Stadium
Mt Albert 20 Howick 22 (qualifiers), Howick 16 Mt Albert 38 (Rd 7), Howick 4 Mt Albert 18 (qualifying semi-final)
Mt Albert:1 Fonitika Lelenga, 2 Corey Seator, 3 Melino Fineanganofo, 4 Darren Kellett-Moore, 5 Kristian Petty, 6 Eiden Ackland, 7 Trent Wallace, 8 Sala Falelua-Malio, 9 Marcus Fraser, 10 Metui Kalekale, 11 Paea Palu (c), 12 Rory Ropati, 13 Hoani Rogers-Brown, 14 Johnny Falelua-Malio, 16 Sione Talisa, 17 Dalton Hiley, 18 Amoni Tufui. Coach: John Ackland
Howick: 1 Jesse Keven, 2 Connor Morris, 3 Anthony Fuimaono, 4 Roydon Gillett, 5 Jesse Albrett, 6 Liam Prendergast, 7 Jordan Papa, 8 Tony Tuia, 9 Jethro Friend, 10 Clayton Williams, 11 Nick Wilson, 12 Johnny Vuetibau, 13 Brandon Lee, 14 Jaz Nahu-Main, 15 Reece Charlie, 16 Trent Bishop, 18 Scott Jones