Well, there really can be no excuses for this one. The team and coaching has been settled for a few years now.....we are playing the lowest ranked team....we have minimal injuries...we are at home and the weather looks favorable.
I'm a bit loath to be to optimistic though as I have been wrong for most of the year. I seriously thought that we would be more competitive this year...I thought our forwards would dominate more and many of the problems from last year would be eliminated. I was wrong ! As was the case last year, our attack isn't to flash and we struggle to capitalise on attacking situations.
I really should stop being cynical I suppose as the season isn't over yet and, to be fair, this years competition has never been stronger. The Southland game must deliver 5 points though. I see Harris is released to play so it will be interesting to see team selection.
The Bay of Plenty Steamers is as follows:
- Solomona Sakalia (31)
- Liam Polwart (8)
- Jeff Thwaites (14)**
- Culum Retallick (107)
- Keepa Mewett (27) – Captain
- Tom Franklin (5)
- Hugh Blake (13)
- Jesse Parete (13)
- Richard Judd (4)
- Mike Delany (66) – Vice Captain
- Joe Webber (4)
- Terrence Hepetema (12)
- Lalakai Foketi (23)
- Monty Ioane (16)
- Chase Tiatia (19)
16. Nathan Harris (27)
17. Jordan Lay (3)
18. James Lay (3)
19. Troy Callander (16)
20. Henry Stowers (14)
21. Luke Campbell (9)
22. Elijah Nicholas (10)
23. Isaac Te Aute (14)
A pretty strong lineup . It seems they are bringing back all the troops for this one. Southland usually are there or there about at halftime and fade in the second half (if I recall they were even against Canterbury at halftime before an onslaught of points against them).
Yep - I like the look of this team. 'Potentially' a competitive scrum, excellent lineout with tall options, our best 9/10 option, center pairing looks good and some strike power out wide.
Issues we need to overcome:
- Scrum hasn't performed to previous year's standard
- Need better ball carrying from the forwards
- I am still not convinced on our loose trio chemistry
- Backline need to convert opportunities
Having said all that, no excuses for this game (agree totally with Snollygoster). We must walk away with the 5 points. Some patience required in the first 20 to gain some dominance and then open it up. Sounds easy...
Joseph Walsh, Brayden Mitchell, Guy Millar, Bill Fukofuka, Thomas Tepasu, Tupou Sopoaga, Phil Halder, Elliot Dixon, Liam Howley, Scott Eade, Aleki Morris, Matthew Johnson, Neria Fomai, Michael Molloy, Lewis Ormond
Reserves: Thomas Flynn, Shaun Stoddart, Mitchell Morgan, Michael McKee, Tim Boys, Jay Renton, William Talataina-Mu, Ryan Tongia
57-0 and we were pretty ragged to be honest. Dominant at set pieces and a red to Dixon early in the 2nd half helped. And the fact that Southland were awful. But we still need to be ruthless when close to the try line. Hot potato won't cut it against good teams.
At least it will be a confidence booster for the players. Better head space may help for the team when playing against better teams.
Can't remember a 50 point win and 0 points conceded from the bay for a long time, so will take that no matter how bad southland were
I never thought for a moment that you would end up being right but you were !
I'm not getting to excited though. I concur with all that has been said above though. It wasn't particularly pretty and there were plenty of mistakes and it was 15 against 14 for most of the game etc etc etc but it was a five point win so I am happy.
Steamers v Southland