It is now time for North Harbour to stop training like Tarzan and playing like Jane.

After their usual 0-2 slow start and nine days after a 43-0 shellacking by the Wellington Lions, North Harbour face the Southland Stags in Invercargill seeking redemption and victory.

"Everyone knows we haven't started well, but we've just got to focus on ourselves. We worry about the other team too much," said lock Hayden Triggs. "The last two games we've haven't played like we've trained. We've prepared well and then we go out and do what we haven't done at training. So we've looked at staying in the process and trusting our game plan."

North Harbour's pack has shown a solid set-piece, but the breakdown needs work after Ardie Savea ran amok last week, while the backline needs remedial work on their passing and lines, from halfback Bryn Hall out.


The reviews have not made for pleasant viewing, said Triggs.

"The first couple of days after that loss were pretty hard. But we had a chat and the coaches have spoken to individuals. We've moved on from it and looking to put something out much better than last time," he said.

In their favour is the fact that Southland (with a 1-1-1 record) will be playing their third game in eight days tomorrow afternoon and are coming off a 26-10 Wednesday night loss to Bay of Plenty in which they were heavily penalised.

"They've had tough week going from Northland to the Bay, so they'll be stoked to sleep in their own beds. They're a grizzly old bunch of forwards, so it will be a massive test. It might depend on conditions. I'm stoked we're playing at 4.35. 7.35 is different story down there," said Triggs.

Flanker Tim Boys was at the centre of a chargedown which deflated the ball against Northland, and they have myriad rugged men, including captain Jamie Mackintosh, flanker Elliot Dixon and Triggs' Blues 2015 teammate Josh Bekhuis. The pack battle should be fiery, given that is where North Harbour have proven most competitive thus far.

"We had a lot of lineouts (against Wellington). We're confident in our scrum and we take a lot of pride in our set-piece and enjoy that part of our game," added Triggs.
North Harbour's match-day 23 is due to be named today.

ITM Cup Championship
Southland v North Harbour
Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill
Sunday, 4.35pm