North Otago will travel north to take on Whanganui at Cooks Gardens tomorrow in week three of the Heartland Championship.
The Old Golds were beaten 17-9 by Buller in Westport in their opening encounter before downing Poverty Bay 43-34 in Oamaru.
Mike Mullins will be hoping his team repeat the second half performance they produced last weekend after trailing 29-12 at half-time.
Whanganui have lost their opening two fixtures 31-18 to South Canterbury and 34-23 to Horowhenua Kapiti but Mullins said he was expecting a tough clash.
“Whanganui have a proud history in this competition, and I’m sure their coaches will be doing everything in their power to prepare for our visit,” he said.
“They have always been in the top tier of the Meads Cup playoffs. A win this weekend will keep their hopes of staying in contention alive. If not, it will be a very difficult to make it with three loses.
“I would expect their coaches will be looking for massive improvements and a huge committed effort from their whole team.”
Mullins said his players would be looking to make improvements from last weekend’s tie and believed the second half display would breed confidence throughout his team.
“We haven’t been able to access much footage of Whanganui in terms of how we expect them to play, so we will just concentrate on continuing to improve in areas we were poor at last weekend against Poverty Bay,” he said.
“It was an outstanding effort from the team to come back scoring 31 points in the second half, which should give the team some confidence heading to Cooks Gardens.”
Whanganui vs North Otago, Cooks Gardens, 2.30pm.
By JAMES FORD
PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY – North Otago’s Simeli Koniferedi produced a fine performance against Poverty Bay last weekend.