Peter is a sports writer at the Bay of Plenty Times

Steamers named to take on Otago in Tauranga on Sunday

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FOCUSED: Bay of Plenty fullback Te Rangi Fraser is tackled by the Taranaki defence at Tauranga Domain. PHOTO: FILE
FOCUSED: Bay of Plenty fullback Te Rangi Fraser is tackled by the Taranaki defence at Tauranga Domain. PHOTO: FILE

Sunday's clash on Father's Day with in-form Otago at the Tauranga Domain looms as a must-win for the Bay of Plenty Steamers.

The Steamers side features two changes to the starting line up from the loss to Counties Manukau last Sunday.

Troy Callander starts at lock instead of Culum Retallick, who injured his knee against Counties Manukau, with Rio Olympics sevens player Regan Ware on the wing.

Head coach Clayton McMillan says his team needs to display accuracy and urgency to produce a winning performance against an inform Otago side that has won three from three.

"The team are disappointed to have lost our opening two games, but have taken confidence from aspects of those games and are determined to play with more accuracy and urgency over 80 minutes," he says.

"We simply can't allow teams at this level to get a jump on us early and expect to claw our way back late in the games as has been the case in the last two weeks.

"Otago are a classy outfit who have made an impressive start to their campaign and won't give us anything for free".

There has been a major focus on individual responsibility this week at Bay of Plenty training.

"We had a big emphasis on starting well against Counties and I think we did that," openside flanker Hugh Blake says.

"Lapses of concentration against teams like Counties hurt...when they make line breaks they usually finish well.

"You have to play 80 minutes to be in contention. There were probably only 10 or 15 minutes we weren't playing well but it created the result.

"It is just the combination of small things. They are easy fixes and if we do that we will get the ball rolling.

"Obviously Otago are coming off a short week so it is a massive opportunity for us back at home. The boys are pretty fizzed and love playing at the Domain."

Blake says the main things the team has worked on this week has been communication and tackling.

"We just want to be really clear about what we are doing. Everyone knows their role so as long as we execute that properly then we should be able to make some gain-line then keep the pressure on when we do.

"Our one-on-one tackles as well. That is an area we need to improve on. A lot of those breaks that Counties made came down to one-on-one misses so that is all individual stuff that guys need to get mentally prepped about.

"We have talked about it. Now we have to go out and show it."

Bay of Plenty Steamers team v Otago
Tauranga Domain, Sunday, 2.35pm.

1. Siegfried Fisi'ihoi
2. Liam Polwart
3. Pingi Tala'apitaga
4. Keepa Mewett
5. Troy Callander
6. Jesse Parete
7. Hugh Blake
8. Joe Tupe
9. Te Aihe Toma
10. Kelly Haimona
11. Regan Ware
12. Terrence Hepetema
13. Lalakai Foketi
14. Monty Ioane
15. Te Rangi Fraser

Reserves:
16. James O'Reilly
17. Aidan Ross
18. Jeff Thwaites
19. Culum Retallick
20. Matty Axtens
21. Henry Stowers
22. Luke Campbell
23. Isaac Te Aute

- Bay of Plenty Times

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