The last time the Bay of Plenty Volcanix beat Waikato was in the same year that Lance Armstrong won his first Tour de France and Helen Clark became the first elected female prime minister of New Zealand.

While Waikato have had the wood over their Bay of Plenty rivals since 1999, the Volcanix travel over the hill to Hamilton tomorrow with more momentum and confidence than ever before.

They are unbeaten after four games and sit seven points clear atop the Championship table. Meanwhile, Waikato are second from the bottom in a tight Premiership competition, with two wins and two draws.

Volcanix co-captain Christie Yule said she expected a "tough, close game".


"I imagine Waikato will try and out-muscle us up front, but we've been preparing for that and we've had previous games against the likes of Auckland so we know what we've got to do.

"The front row will step up and we have a game plan to do with our backs, because we've got a lot of speed and skill out there, so we're going to give them as much forward momentum as we can and let them finish it off for us.

"I think we've proven that it doesn't matter who our opposition are, we've got a lot of confidence in each other and our combinations to get the win at the end of the day," Yule said.

The side gained a lot of confidence from their 38-15 win over Tasman in Tauranga last weekend.

"It was awesome, there was great enthusiasm there and we really started to put the structures into play that we've been learning over the last few weeks.

"I think we can take a bit of confidence out of implementing those systems and that what we've been doing at training can come off in a game. The combinations we've been building and the expression of our own skills and talent is showing now too."

Coach Brendon Webby said the biggest positive to come out of last week's result was the way the players were able to implement new strategies the coaches had them working on during the week.

"The effort was really good, they gave a full 100 per cent commitment. There are things we can do better to reach our full potential, but everyone is always looking for that as close to perfect as you can be game.

"This weekend is a local derby, over the hill, so we're expecting a massive game. They're in their relegation zone so we expect they'll come out absolutely firing," Webby said.

He said the Waikato side included three or four Black Ferns who brought a lot of class to the side, however his team were focusing on their own performance.

Webby has made four changes to the starting 15 who delivered a comprehensive performance against Tasman on Sunday. Following a clinical performance off the bench last weekend Lily Florence starts at hooker - the remainder of the forward pack is unchanged.

A new 9-10 combination of Jade Tuilaepa and Shaye Whareaorere will start this weekend with Ora Williams sidelined because of a neck injury. The elusive Autumn-Rain Stephens-Daly will move to start on the left wing with Sapphire Tapsell starting on the right wing.

A reshuffle in the reserves will see Te Puke High School's Braxton Walker and Rotoiti's Teilani Thompson make their Farah Palmer Cup debuts off the bench. Black Fern Lesley Elder returns from her World Cup campaign and will be looking to make an impact off the bench in her first game in blue and gold.

The game kicks off at 2.45pm and is being streamed live on

Bay of Plenty Volcanix team to play Waikato
1. Luka Connor (23)
2. Lily Florence (10)
3. Ereti Williams (14)*
4. Kaci James (22) - Co-captain
5. Julia Buescher (4)
6. Christie Yule (10) - Co-captain
7. Kendra Reynolds (16)
8. Sequoia Autumn Te Aonui (4)
9. Jade Tuilaepa (3)
10. Shaye Whareaorere (9)
11. Autumn-Rain Stephens-Daly (15)
12. Tania-Rose Raharuhi (4)
13. Aryahn Clarke (7)
14. Sapphire Tapsell (11)
15. Crystal Mayes(4)

16. Julie Lewis (7)
17. Braxton Walker**
18. Amanda Aldridge (3)
19. Teilani Thompson**
20. Lesley Elder**
21. Sarah Kay (2)
22. Zaan Scott (4)

( ) Denotes number of games
*Denotes blazer game
** Denotes debut

Bay of Plenty Volcanix v Waikato
Saturday, September 30, 2.45pm at Beetham Park, Hamilton
Played: 7, Waikato wins: 6, Bay of Plenty wins 1
Last match: Waikato 32 Bay of Plenty 3, August 27, 2016 in Hamilton
Last Bay of Plenty win: Bay of Plenty 17 Waikato 13, in 1999
Biggest Waikato score: 48, April 6, 2014 in Hamilton
Biggest Bay of Plenty score: 17 in 1999 and on September 21, 2002 in Rotorua