Rotorua United go into their final Loaded WaiBOP Premiership game knowing their fate is out of their hands.

However, a win over Matamata today will go a long way toward keeping them above Tauranga Boys' College First XV and avoiding relegation.

At the end of the season the bottom two teams are relegated from the premier division. Rotorua sit third from last, just three points ahead of Tauranga Boys' who still have three games to play, all against tough opposition.

A win for Rotorua would mean Tauranga Boys' need to win at least two of their last three games.


Rotorua coach Ian Walker said it had been a tough season.

"We've had injuries - a lot of players leaving for various reasons. We've lost about half of our first team this season.

"We started really strong but it's been a struggle to hold on. The guys who have stayed have been amazing, they've given everything."

While losing players made things difficult this season, it gave younger players the opportunity to gain some valuable experience.

"We had quite a strong Championship side and we've had to take a lot of the younger guys from that who probably should've spent more time there, but they've had to step up and fill a role at this level.

"It's good development because it allows young players to get that early experience in the Premiership. They'll benefit more from it next year than they will this year - this year has been a baptism of fire for them."

Matamata sit in fourth place and won 3-1 last time these sides met. However, Rotorua were without star striker Jason Walker in that game. He will be in the side tomorrow and could be the difference.

"He's been out for a while, but came back last weekend against Cambridge. We've been creating chances but haven't had the finishing touch. That attacking threat makes a massive difference.

"Hopefully we can score early and put the pressure back on Matamata. We need everybody to dominate their man, that's a key. If you can dominate your man in your part of the park it makes a big difference.

"It's the final game of the season so I want them to have fun as well. Matamata are quite high on the table but anything can happen on any given day.

"We don't want to rely on Tauranga losing their remaining games, we want to win this one."

The game is being played at Neil Hunt Park and kicks off at 2.45pm. Rotorua United's WaiBOP Championship side is playing Te Awamutu at 12.30pm at the same ground.