‘Standout defence stopped attack’

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North Otago coach Mike Mullins answered Oamaru Mail sports reporter James Ford’s questions following the Old Golds’ win over South Canterbury at Forsyth Barr last weekend.

North Otago were under pressure for long periods of the match but held out. What are your thoughts on the performance defensively?

We worked really hard in the first half, with some standout defence from a few individuals, stopping some of the South Canterbury attack.

What do you think has changed in North Otago’s play from the opening weeks of the season to now?  

Hard to pinpoint any one area, but we are starting games a lot better, putting teams under more pressure with our defence and slowly we are building on our attack.

Mid Canterbury are up next and coming off the back of a big win over East Coast (67-12). What will be focused on in preparation for that clash?

We will review last week’s game and then focus on a game plan to win us a match this Saturday.

Who do you think stood out for North Otago?

Everyone added something to the win. The scrum was solid, and  Sione Teu, Samisoni Tongotongo came up with some big tackles along with the Sauileoge brothers in midfield.

Was Lemi Masoe’s absence just precautionary against South Canterbury or will he be unavailable in week seven too?

More precautionary and hope to have him available for this week.

Were there any serious injuries picked up on Saturday?

At this stage nothing major, just a few sore bodies from the physical nature of the game.