Be better than before.

That motto, based on constantly seeking improvement, is behind the rapid rise of the Bay of Plenty Volcanix this season.

Sitting at the top of the table after three games, they take on Championship newcomers the Tasman Makos at Tauranga Domain tomorrow.

In their two games so far Tasman suffered a narrow 25-17 loss to Premiership side Waikato, before being smashed 82-0 by Otago. Last week they had a bye.


The Volcanix have drawn with Auckland before producing convincing wins over Hawke's Bay and North Harbour, but co-captain Kaci James said they were determined to ensure complacency did not become a factor.

"We just want to keep being better than last week. Last week [against North Harbour] we played our systems really well, but we need to do that for 80 minutes. In the second half against Harbour it dropped a little bit.

"The goal is to improve every week, even if it's one thing for yourself or one thing for the team. We emphasise that at training as well, that's the culture that we've got and everyone has taken it on board."

James said being at the top of the Championship table was an "awesome feeling", but the hard work was just beginning.

"It's been a long time since we've been anywhere near the top of any table, but we're only on to game four now and after Tasman we've got Waikato and Otago which will be very hard games.

"It might be Tasman's first year but anything can happen against them as well - look at what happened when we played Auckland. We can't be complacent and we have to play hard and play strong like we would in any other game."

Assistant coach Mike Lewis said against North Harbour the players responded to what coaches had talked about during the week, as they had done all season.

"We made quite a few small changes to the way we wanted to them play and they took that on board really well.

"Our continuity was a positive - just hanging on to the ball and being effective with it."

Lewis said the team had done some video analysis of Tasman, but were focused more on themselves.

"They'll be pretty fired up, this is their third game and it's televised [on Sky Sport] which puts some extra spice into it. In terms of how they'll play we're not really too sure ... the results so far don't mean anything, so we just want to see more of the same and improve on some of the small things."

Head coach Brendon Webby encouraged the community to get out and support the team this weekend.

"We hope to see plenty of family and friends come out to see the ladies on Sunday. They have been working hard and we are pleased to be proudly representing the Bay of Plenty."

The side will be wearing their club socks in acknowledgement of the support they have received from their respective clubs.

Adding to the excitement of the game will be a few special visitors cheering on the teams.

Members of the World Cup winning Black Ferns team and the Black Ferns Sevens team will be in attendance, along with the Women's World Cup trophy. People can get a selfie with the trophy in the Whanau Zone before it is presented to Heritage Day guests and sponsors.

Bay of Plenty Volcanix team to play Tasman
Sunday, September 24 at the Tauranga Domain
Kick off at 12.05pm
1. Luka Connor (22)
2. Julie Lewis (6)
3. Ereti Williams (13)
4. Kaci James (21)
5. Julia Buescher (3)
6. Christie Yule (9)
7. Kendra Reynolds (15)
8. Sequoia Autumn Te Aonui (3)
9. Jade Tuilaepa (2)
10. Ora Williams(3)
11. Sapphire Tapsell (10)
12. Tania-Rose Raharuhi (3)
13. Aryahn Clarke (6)
14. Autumn-Rain Stephens-Daly (14)*
15. Crystal Mayes (3)

16. Lily Florence (9)
17. Christine Corbett (2)
18. Amanda Aldridge (2)
19. Makayla Daysh (4)
20. Shaye Whareaorere (8)
21. Nadine Stone (3)
22. Zaan Scott (3)

( ) Denotes number of games
* Denotes Blazer game