Manning weekend sports round-up

THE Manning will be a Mecca for mountain bikers on Sunday when the opening round of the Chocolate Foot series is held in the Kiwarrak Forest - the headquarters of the Manning Great Lakes Tip Riders Club.

Taree Wildcats' Jordan Howard on the attack in last weekend's round. The Wildcats meet Port United at Port Macquarie on Saturday.

Taree Wildcats' Jordan Howard on the attack in last weekend's round. The Wildcats meet Port United at Port Macquarie on Saturday.

Two events will be held, one of 4km and the other 7km. It is the second time the opening round of the series has been held here and around 300 riders are expected.

This includes world 24 hour champion Jason English, from Port Macquarie.

Racing will start at 8am.

Representative rugby league will be played at Wauchope on Saturday when Group Three tackles Group Two. A North Coast side to play in the Country Championships will be announced at the conclusion of the game.

There'll be a full round of Group Three Rugby League matches on Sunday. Old Bar and Wingham meet at Old Bar, Taree City host premiers Wauchope, Forster-Tuncurry travel to Port Macquarie to tackle the Port Sharks while competition leaders Macleay Valley will be at home to Port City.

There'll be plenty of local interest in the national finals of the under 16 and 18 rugby league competitions on Saturday at Townsville. Old Bar's Kurtis Dark will play lock for Newcastle Knights under 16s in the game against Cairns Northern Pride while Taree's Latrell Mitchell is fullback for the Sydney Roosters under 18s for the game against Townsville Stingers.

The fifth round of the Football Mid North Coast Premier League will kickoff on Saturday. This will feature two local derbies, with Wingham to play Old Bar at Wingham while Macleay Valley and Kempsey Saints clash at Kempsey. Taree Wildcats meet Port United at Port Macquarie, Port Saints clash with Camden Haven and Port FC tackles Camden Haven in other games.

Manning Ratz will look to return to the winner's list at the expense of competition pacesetters Wallamba at in Lower North Coast Rugby Union at Taree Rugby Park on Saturday. Old Bar host premiers Forster-Tuncurry while Myall Coast and Gloucester clash in other matches.

There's two two sectional playoffs in Manning Bowling Association pennants at Black Head on Saturday. Gloucester will take on Wingham in grade five while Taree Railway and Taree West in grade six.

Further afield and Taree's Josh Hook starts his campaign in the Australasian Superbike Series at Mallala in South Australia on Sunday. This is the second round. Hook, who rides for Team Honda, missed the opening round as he was recovering from injuries sustained in a crash while competing in support races at the World Superbike weekend at Phillip Island in February. Three races will be conducted on Sunday with 75 points on offer.

The Manning is also gearing to host the World Circuit Power Boat Championships from May 23 to 25, where two world championship will be decided.