A hungry Bay of Plenty Volcanix team heads into their pre-bye week looking for a win against Waikato tomorrow.
Their fourth-round Farah Palmer Cup match takes place at FMG Stadium in Hamilton as part of a double-header that will be broadcast live on SKY TV, before Waikato men take on Tasman in their week seven Mitre 10 Cup clash.
The Volcanix are yet to record a win this season and showing they are a capable squad in the nine-point defeat to Auckland in round three and a bye scheduled for round five, a victory over Waikato will be favourable.
Volcanix coach Rodney Gibbs wants to see continued improvement from his team tomorrow. "They are in pretty good spirits. It is taking some time but we are heading in the right direction. It is a process and we are making some reasonable adjustments and the girls are working really hard.
"It is just identifying areas that are going to influence the game. We also have to utilise our time wisely. It is a great challenge, and it does put pressure on the coaching group but that is part of what we do. A big part of coaching is being on point and being time efficient. That is all part of growing as a coach."
The Volcanix were an improved outfit in the collision area against Auckland and Gibbs says it is important to not overdo the work ons.
"We don't want to try and reinvent the wheel every week. All we have done is add another layer onto last week. Hopefully we see another little lift in that area this week."
The Volcanix have suffered an injury blow ahead of the game as dynamic second five, and Black Fern, Renee Wickliffe will miss the game due to a knee injury. Gibbs says Wickliffe will not play tomorrow and they will assess the injury through the bye week. Azalleyah Maaka will take Wickliffe's place in midfield.
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Gibbs says the team is ready to take on rivals Waikato.
"The great thing is even though we haven't got a result yet, the enthusiasm has grown. If we can continue that mindset and energy the result will come. It is exciting to be playing in a big stadium and putting them into situations [being on TV] that are a little uncomfortable at times. It is a good experience for those that haven't done that this year. It is also great for the growth of the women's game and it is a great opportunity to showcase what they are doing."
Volcanix captain Christie Yule believes her side can get the job done tomorrow.
"It will be fantastic to get that win and provide of reward for the hard work they have done. I think the girls are getting more hungry and working out what else we can do. We are finding out what dark places we can get to get those extra one per cents. We need to dominate in that collision area we have no doubt we will come away with that win.
"The thought most people have when you come into the team is that it is all about winning, we have tried to keep the pressure off the younger girls and looking to take the next step every game. The girls are feeling positive about getting out there and continuing to improve."
Bay of Plenty Volcanix team to play Waikato:
Angel Mulu, Luka Connor, Janina Khan, Karli Faneva, Kelsie Wills, Christie Yule, Kendra Reynolds, Natalie Delamere, Jade Tuilaepa, Arorangi Tauranga, Autumn-Rain Stephens-Daly, Azalleyah Maaka, Danielle Paenga, Natalie Walford, Sapphire Tapsell.
Reserves: Braxton Walker, Lily Florence, Baye Jacob, Tracey Lemon, Tynealle Fitzgerald, Tania-Rose Raharuhi, Nadia Flavell.