2020 has been a mixed bag so far for the Bay of Plenty Volcanix in the Farah Palmer Cup.
The Bay of Plenty women flew out of the blocks with a comprehensive 67-17 win over North Harbour but were brought back to earth in a 21-10 loss to Waikato in Rotorua on Saturday. They sit fourth in the North pool.
Head coach Rodney Gibbs believed the results fairly reflected his side's performances, saying they had been a bit up and down.
"It's been pretty 50-50, not a bad start but obviously we weren't at our best at the weekend. That's a bit disappointing but a good challenge and we'll need to get back up pretty quickly," Gibbs said.
"When we're playing well and the girls are confident, we've obviously got some reasonable rugby players and when they're running freely and confident to get the ball to the outside edges, we look good.
"They're working really hard and growing so we've just got to keep moving forward. It's really important we don't take too many backwards steps like we did last week.
"We need to continue to trust where we're heading with our game and believing in what our team's about. We have to accept we got beaten at our own game in the weekend."
Gibbs paid tribute to his captain, Les Elder. Four months after giving birth to her first child, she was one of many players to touch down for a try in round one. He said her leadership and experience was valuable to a squad with several up and coming younger talents.
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"She's an impressive lady, an impressive individual, who works really hard. She was diligent throughout her pregnancy so I'm not surprised, but not everyone would be able to do that.
"We just hope that she continues to get back into the game and keeps getting back to where she was. It's tough for a lady to do that so, very impressive.
"[Elder's leadership] is massive. Obviously, as Black Ferns captain she has a huge amount of experience but she has some challenges - she's only four months out from having a baby so we can't expect her to solve all the problems in the world. She has to look after herself and her family as well as also focus on getting back to where she needs to be for her game. We're doing all we can to help and assist with that."
Meanwhile, the Bay of Plenty Steamers, who sit in fourth place in the Mitre 10 Cup Premiership, have also had mixed results so far.
They went down 36-29 in an action-packed thriller against double Barrett-boosted Taranaki in round one before being made to fight for a 17-14 win over Southland at the weekend.
All Blacks captain Sam Cane captained the Steamers for the first time in that game while All Blacks Sevens co-captain Scott Curry demonstrated the depth of experience the Steamers have this year as he made his Bay of Plenty debut.
On Saturday, the Volcanix host Taranaki at Blake Park in Tauranga, kicking off at 2pm. The Steamers play Wellington in the capital at 7.05pm on Friday.