Peter is a sports writer at the Bay of Plenty Times

Steamers desperate for a win

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Bay of Plenty Steamers training at the Rotorua International Stadium yesterday.  Photo/Ben Fraser
Bay of Plenty Steamers training at the Rotorua International Stadium yesterday. Photo/Ben Fraser

The Steamers may have lost their opening three games of the Mitre 10 Cup campaign but there is no loss of faith within the camp.

That's the view of halfback Te Aihe Toma, who has been one of the consistent performers for the Steamers since his taste of Super Rugby with the Highlanders.

He is certainly taking a positive spin on the three losses, which the supporters may find harder to take.

"It is still early days. At the moment I think we are trucking along fine. We have only just been losing and they have been real tight which is good," Toma said.

"But it is the unforced errors which have been letting the opposition convert into points.

"That was especially true in the game just gone against Otago. They had none whereas we had 12 or 13 unforced errors, particularly dropping the ball and not cleaning rucks properly."

Toma said there had been a positive attitude this week ahead of tomorrow night's must-win clash with Northland in Rotorua.

"We have to be positive. We still have a hell of a lot of rugby to be played so we can't just be all sad and have our heads down now.

"That was a tough loss to take last weekend and we have to make it happen against Northland.

TOP CLASS: Steamers winger Regan Ware has returned from Rio Olympics in form. Photo/File A_040916gn41bop
TOP CLASS: Steamers winger Regan Ware has returned from Rio Olympics in form. Photo/File A_040916gn41bop


"Hopefully if it all goes well the processes will come through and we should get the outcome. The clarity is certainly there for the game plan we want to play."

Toma has not been able to get his trademark running game going at all this year, which he says is a reflection of the changes made to the breakdown rules.

"The rucks are harder now and a lot messier.

"The opposition are able to disrupt the ball, cleaning players out and getting a foot in and kicking the ball. It means the space that I have is shut or the vision to be able to see the gap isn't there anymore."

Northland have lost 15 consecutive matches since beating North Harbour on October 3, 2014.

Last year they lost all 10 games and have dropped the four played so far this season. But they have proved to be more competitive in 2016 and gave Canterbury quite a game last start before losing 52-34.

Toma is taking nothing for granted tomorrow night.

"We don't want to go onto the game thinking we have got this game under the belt already.

"They are a good side. They have got good players and we are just having to work really hard and work on those processes and minimise errors that they can turn into points.

"Our mind-set is to take it as another game against any opposition and play to our ability and hopefully open them up.

"And not just to have the first 20 minutes hissing but to play a full 80-minute performance."

Bay of Plenty v Northland, Rotorua International Stadium, Friday, 5.45pm

- Bay of Plenty Times

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