Ōtūmoetai Eels coach Grant Sundborn is urging his side to be patient after a loss in round two of the Waikato Rugby League competition on Saturday.

The Eels were beaten 18-16 by Hamilton City Tigers in Hamilton in a game that got away from them.

"We were leading at halftime, then they scored a couple of tries just after halftime," Sundborn says.

"We definitely had the opportunities and we lost it ourselves and made a couple of mistake. The boys were feeling it, they knew they gave it away. We are still trying to find our feet, but the game was there for us we didn't take the opportunity."


Sundborn says patience on attack and with the team's improvement is important as they head into the week three game against College Old Boys.

"We have a little bit of an issue where we have made six forward passes in two games.

"The boys are not being patient and the whole backline probably needs to be patient.

"Everything will come, we spend a lot of time on the line and we are just not shutting the gate. We had 17 completed sets on Saturday, we should be a little bit over 20 sets and that is something we will work on. We are playing how we want to, but we do need to adapt."

The Eels started the season with defeat to defending champions Taniwharau two weeks ago, there were no games on Easter weekend, and Sundborn says he is looking forward to welcoming back injured players, of which there are six.

"Taniwharau were really aggressive in the tackles, where as City tigers didn't bring that. There is a different level of intensity between some games. I have ticked a few a games we should win."

Pāpāmoa Bulldogs also tasted defeat as they went down 44-14 to Ngaruawahia Panthers.

Bulldogs coach Jock Nicholson says the game shows the calibre of the competition.


"We expected a tough game and the score doesn't reflect that. We didn't to ourselves any favours and it just shows on the day you have to play consistent footy. Mentally we were not where we needed to be. Physically it was tough and we are not scared of the hard stuff but we let ourselves down with a couple of unforced errors."

The Bulldogs had a cracking first-round win over Hamilton City and Nicholson says there is a learning curve that comes with the competition.

"You address things and every player has to understand their role and level the need to get to. For some players it is about having their own routines and having that in place before you go into a game – some like to listen to music for example. They need to find that consistency and I need to try and tap into that."

The Bulldogs take on Hukanui in week three and Nicholson says there are little tweaks that need to be made.

"When we make mistakes we have to make sure we don't make another and we need to really focus on not giving away silly penalties. We have to make sure we go up there with a good attitude. A work on for us is going into the tackles and landing on our front to get up and play the ball. Our two or three man tackles need work on as well."

Waikato Rugby League Results
Taniwharau 38 Hamilton Hornets 10, Ngaruawahia Panthers 44 Papamoa Bulldogs 14, Hamilton City Tigers 18 Otumoetai Eels 16, College Old Boys 18 Hukanui 10.

Taniwharau 44 Hamilton Hornets 4, Ngaruawahia Panthers 40 Papamoa Bulldogs 4, Turangawaewae 40 Te Awamutu Fire Hawks 20, Hamilton City Tigers 64 Otumoetai Eels 8, Ngaruawahia Lions 20 College Old Boys 16.