North Otago will head to Dunedin tomorrow to take on South Canterbury at Forsyth Barr in week six of the Heartland Championship.
The Old Golds notched their second win of the campaign over Thames Valley (19-15) last weekend while South Canterbury’s 19-10 loss to Buller in week four remains the only blemish on their record this season after toppling Poverty Bay 32-28 in a tightly contested battle last Saturday.
Tomorrow’s encounter will be another must-win for North Otago if they’re to remain masters of their own destiny and Mullins believes his players will take confidence from last weekend’s victory.
“I’m sure the team can take some confidence out of last week’s performance, as Thames Valley hadn’t been beaten this season until last weekend,” he said.
“It was great to see the players enjoy hearing the final whistle, and feel that sense of victory, as it took a huge effort to grind out the win.”
Mullins said preparations for the fixture had gone well with final selections made last night.
“Preparations are much the same most weeks,” he said.
“Most critical is assess who’s injured or ill during the week, see who’s been playing well for the development team that may warrant selection for the Heartland team, and by Thursday we hope to have enough information to select a team capable of winning a match on Saturday.”
Mullins said he expects his players to relish the opportunity of playing at Forsyth Barr having experienced playing in large stadiums overseas.
“I’m sure that all players involved are looking forward to playing at the stadium, as I know from my own experience having played three times at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff,” he said.
“It will bring a different atmosphere from the supporters being close to the ground, and also being under a roof.”
Turn to page 35 for the Heartland Champioship points table.
Saturday’s Heartland Championship, week six fixture;
North Otago Heartland vs South Canterbury, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin at 2.30pm.
By JAMES FORD
PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY – North Otago face a tough test against South Canterbury at Forsyth Barr tomorrow. Pictured is Ben Palmer in action against Poverty Bay at the Whitestone Contracting Stadium.