If the Tasman Orcas can't wrestle rugby league's Challenge Cup from the Coastline Mariners in Tauranga on Sunday they'll only have themselves to blame for motivating the home side.
"They're (Tasman) full of confidence - they have already accepted their first defence against the West Coast. It's good motivation for us as far as we're concerned," Mariners' coach Tony Gordon said.
His side are coming off a morale boosting away win over Northland in last month's North Island Super 7 competition but he has some injury worries up front heading into the Mariners' first home game and Challenge Cup defence of 2001.
Frontline forwards Waaka Greene and Herbie Kingi are carrying injuries which have affected the build-up to their clash with the Mainland Super 10 champions of 2000.
Gordon has a fair bit of forward cover available in his squad with Kawerau prop Joe Te Riini, Simon Parengatai (Pikiao) and Wetere Neketai (Te Paamu) available while Tongan World Cup prop Andrew Leota may be an unexpected starter.
The good news for the Mariners is in the backline where they have been
bolstered by the appearance at training of former Te Atatu and Ngongotaha Bartercard Cup player player Paul Pohe.
He could line up in the centres with skipper Zachan Herewini, allowing Ramon Haare, Shamos Hunter and Sol Te Pania to form a lethal attacking combination from the back three.
- DAILY POST (ROTORUA)