North Otago coach Mike Mullins faces a difficult task in the selection of the Heartland Championship squad after his players produced some fine performances on tour.
Despite losing 19-11 to Nadroga, 19-15 to Pacific Islands University and 20-19 to a Tongan XV, Mullins made the most of Fielding as many players as possible.
“The tour was a great way to access what players had to offer for the up coming Heartland competition and build relationships with the Fijian and Tongan rugby unions,” said Mullins.
Mullins said the competition was fierce but a good opportunity for all players to experience significant game time.
“It was by far some of the hardest rugby in terms of how the opposition teams played physicality and speed, for any preseason games I’ve been involved with during my time coaching North Otago,” he said.
“All players had ample opportunity with the three game tour schedule to display what they had to offer, with some players performing above our expectations.
“This will be one of the hardest teams I’ve had to select players for the start of the Heartland competition.”
Mullins will be watching the North Otago development side take on South Canterbury in a Hannan Cup fixture in Timaru before finalising his selection.
By JAMES FORD
PHOTO: North Otago coach Mike Mullins