Baywide Premier players will get a taste of the demands of provincial rugby with midweek a round of games scheduled for Anzac Day on Wednesday, meaning they will play three games in eight days.

Mitre 10 Cup teams have to deal with that but they are in semi-professional environments with medical staff on hand to help prepare them. But it is asking a lot to expect amateur club players to front up to three games with such short turnaround.

As always the problem the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union has, is trying to fit all the club games into a fixed window available before the Steamers pre-season begins. There are too many teams involved with too few days.

Te Puna coach Aidan Kuka says it is going to be a challenging time for all clubs involved.

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"How we manage that and how we look after our players at the same time is important but it is what it is I suppose," Kuka said.

"We just have to get on with it. We are probably going to have to look to rotate a little bit to keep players fresh so we don't burn them out."

Tauranga Sports head coach Euan Macintosh says they have put a lot of responsibility on their trainer Tim Wilson to prepare the team.

"Some guys may find it a shock to the system but we are confident we will come through this period," Macintosh said.

But first up for both teams is tomorrow's round of Baywide action.


Western Bay fans have been waiting for the opportunity for perennial leaders Tauranga Sports to take on the impressive new Te Puna outfit. Tomorrow they have their wish as the teams clash at Tauranga Domain.

Kuka says they always look forward to the fixture with Tauranga Sports at the Domain.

"It is going to be a cracker game. I think we both play similar styles and may even have similar strengths. It is probably about who is going to make the most of the opportunity on the day.

"Our conditioning as a whole squad has taken another step up from previous years so it is nice to see that is paying off. The depth in the whole squad is pretty good at the moment but it is still very early days. We really want to playing our best rugby at the end of the season so maintaining consistency is going to be a key focus for us all year."

Macintosh says coming up against a form team will test where his team is at.

"It doesn't really change anything as regards to where we are looking at each game as it comes at the moment. Our goals are very much around improving each week individually and as a team."

This is Tauranga Sports first home game on the main pitch at the Domain after the once pristine turf was badly damaged during the installation of the new all-weather running track and field event runways.


Baywide draws
Premier 2.45pm, Development 1pm

Mount Maunganui Sports v Greerton Marist at Blake Park, Whakarewarewa v Te Puke Sports at Puarenga Park, Ngongotaha v Paroa at Ngongotaha Domain, Tauranga Sports v Te Puna at Tauranga Domain, Whakatane Marist v Rotoiti at Rugby Park, Arataki v Rangataua at Arataki Park.

Division One, 2.45pm
Judea v Ruatoki at Maharaia Winiata Memorial Park, Rangiuru v Marist St Michael's at Centennial Park, Murupara v Kahukura at Ngati Manawa, Opotiki v Te Teko at Princess St Reserve, Papamoa v Waimana at Gordon Spratt Reserve, Waikite v Poroporo at Bellvue Road.