Despite being unbeaten after the first two rounds of the NZRL Regional Qualifiers Northern Pool, Bay of Plenty Lakers coach Paniora Daniels is striving for more.

"I think our biggest strength is our attack, but it's defence that wins you games. Even though we only let one try in last week we were still a bit weak up the middle, it's about getting those systems right.

"A good defence is all about having the right attitude and trusting your teammates. If everyone knows what they're doing in defence it will go a long way to keeping us at the right end of the field.

"There's still something special brewing, we haven't played the perfect game yet but it's coming," Daniels said.


This weekend is the final round of the qualifier round robin, the winner of which will represent the northern region in the New Zealand Championship against the winners of the central and southern pools.

The winner of that round robin will have the opportunity to play a promotion/relegation game against the bottom team in the New Zealand Premiership.

Today Bay of Plenty play Waikato Development at Puketawhero Park.

Daniels said, as Coastline had pulled out of the competition handing Northland a default win, it was still to be determined who would go through.

"It's still up in the air. All we can do is win by as much as possible to give ourselves the best chance of going through.

"I think Waikato are bringing a young team, but also giving some of their top players a run before their Championship campaign starts.

"I just want to see us execute, which might be hard because, judging by the weather, it's going to be a wet game.

"We just need to go up the middle and play to the conditions, but still have the confidence, when they get an opportunity to have a go," he said.

The Lakers have once again made several changes to their lineup for this weekend's game, but Daniels believed he would have a good idea of his best 17 after this game.

"It will be good to get some consistency with our squad so they can build combinations. The difference this year is the players don't mind being moved around they just want to be out there.

"The hardest part now is who we leave out, because all 24 players in the squad are capable of getting the job done," he said.

Bay of Plenty Lakers team to play Waikato Development at Puketawhero Park
Kick-off 2pm
1. Kihiroa Wihapi
2. Yannis Mea
3. Dylan Shortland
4. Cameron Walters
5. Quentin Ryan
6. Johnson Peri (c)
7. Kale Pomare
8. Aussie Tuwhangai
9. Destry Tamai
10. Rikihana Te Rangi
11. Lorne Green
12. Jeremy Siulepa
13. Jason Whareaitu

14. Darcy hunt
15. Opeta Utanga
16. Fetaiamauso Tauiliili-Pelesasa
17. Dennis Phillips
18. Matt Filipo
19. William Cook