Rugby: Steamers spots buoy Whaka ahead of clash

By Alison King

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Whaka and Rotoiti are in action this weekend with home matches against Te Puke and Tauranga respectively. Photo / File
Whaka and Rotoiti are in action this weekend with home matches against Te Puke and Tauranga respectively. Photo / File

Whakarewarewa take on top-placed Te Puke tomorrow and are on the hunt for a win.

Coach Ngarimu Simpkins said they were excited at what might happen at Puarenga Park, especially with the new-found impetus from the Steamers' announcement.

"There's a good feeling in the camp, getting two boys in the Steamers was a big thing for our club and community.

"It's proven that you can play your rugby in Rotorua and get into the Steamers," Simpkins said. "We're excited about the challenge with Te Puke, especially being at home.

"There is some belief in our community and we will be going out there to win."

Rotoiti host third-placed Tauranga at Emery Park tomorrow. Rotoiti coach Kevin Lee said he would be blooding more young players simply as he didn't have much choice.

"We've lost 12 or 13 this season due to other competitions, injury or just being unavailable.

"We've nothing to lose though - they ran up 80 odd points last week so we're hoping to minimise that type of damage. As long as we play with a little bit of gusto that's all I can ask."

Baywide draw for tomorrow: (Premier games 2.45pm, Development games 1pm)

Greerton Marist vs Rangataua, Greerton Park; Mount Maunganui v Opotiki, Blake Park; Whakarewarewa v Te Puke, Puarenga Park; Rotoiti v Tauranga, Emery Park; Rangiuru v Te Puna, Centennial Park.

See tomorrow's Rotorua Daily Post to read about Rotoiti's Jesse Acton's journey from broken leg to Steamers.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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