A 98-0 loss to Rangiuru in the opening round of the Baywide women's rugby competition was not an ideal start, but with 11 new players this year Rotoiti are treating every game as an opportunity to learn and develop.
It does not get any easier for Rotoiti this weekend as they travel to Rangataua, who thumped Waimana 70-7 last weekend.
Rotoiti coach Victoria Grant said her side's focus was solely on themselves and how they could improve.
"Last weekend was a challenging game, but the girls were actually quite excited about being able to work on us and getting better at what we can do. Eleven of our girls are brand new to rugby and it's just great to have 11 new players to the game, that's awesome for a club team and now we need to nurture and grow that.
"Some of them were excited just to get out on that field and actually tackle someone in a game situation, or catch the ball and run the ball. Those are successes for us - we're growing a good culture at our club and enjoying every experience. We still took good things away from that game," Grant said.
Tomorrow,she wants to see the side continue working to improve as individuals and as a team.
The new players in the team have the support and guidance of captain and halfback Polly Playle, who missed the majority of last season through injury. Grant said Playle was a standout against Rangiuru, along with second five Tamea Te Rauna.
"Polly leads by example. She has great defence, she's always up in their faces and always leading her team strong, no matter the scoreline.
"Tamea was exciting every time she got the ball, she made something happen every time. Also, on defence she was working really hard."
Meanwhile, Whakarewarewa will look to build on their 36-22 win over defending champions Waikite when they host Rangiuru tomorrow.Coach Ron James said Rangiuru were an "exciting young side".
"I think they'll be quite expansive, they like to run the ball. They could be the benchmark this year for women's rugby in Bay of Plenty.
"We've got quite a new team - we've got girls with some good skill sets and we're just working primarily on our defensive systems, looking to shut them down. We're just trying to get into our game, playing to our strengths and whatever we take out of this game will be beneficial for us," James said.
He said the major positive he took from last weekend was how his side stayed in the game to come back from 22-10 behind.
"The girls stuck to their task in the second half and found the space out wide to come away with the win. It was a big confidence booster for them and showed they have the right attitude. We spoke about taking ownership of the game and they did that."
Newly entered side Matata take on Waimana in their first Baywide Women's Premier game, after sitting out the bye last week. Waikite have the bye this week.
Farmlands Co-operative Baywide Premier Women's Club Draw
Sunday, May 20
Matata v Waimana at Richmond Park
Rangataua v Rotoiti at Te Ariki Park
Whakarewarewa v Rangiuru at Puarenga Park
Waikite – Bye