North Otago will welcome King Country to the Whitestone Contracting Stadium tomorrow in week four of the Heartland Championship and will be intent on salvaging their faltering campaign.
The Old Golds were downed 20-15 by Wanganui at Cooks Gardens last weekend, despite and impressive second half fight back.
Mike Mullins’ side posted a loss and a win in their opening two fixtures against Buller and Poverty Bay respectively and currently sit in seventh place on the points table.
Tomorrow’s opponents have also produced an unconvincing start to their season, despite a promising start in a 32-13 win over Wairarapa Bush in Taupo.
King Country have struggled with losses to Thames Valley (15-10) and and Buller (53-29) in their last two outings.
North Otago; Djustice Sears-Duru , Ralph Darling, Rob Mafileo, Jared Whitburn,Sale Pii, Josh Clark, Manu Taiti, Samisoni Tongotongo, Robbie Smith, Stephen Fenemor, Tenina Sauileoge, Ekeroma Sauileoge, Lemi Masoe, Simeli Koniferedi, Brad Mckenzie. REPLACEMENTS: Kilioni Taufa Palenapa Mafi/Hayden Tisdall Sione Teu Uilisoni Tahitua Cameron Keenan Ben Palmer Joe Marston
King Country; James Ritchie, Josh Dais, Brian Mansfield, Aarin Dunster, Gene Waller, Athony Wise, Ollie Kay, Rob Sherson, Zayn Tipping, Whakataki Cunningham, Chanse Perham-Ritete, Joe Perawiti, Beau Kiel, Anaiasa Naturaga, Dean Church. REPLACEMENTS: Adam Morris, Carl Carmichael, Antonie (Beau) Taylor, Shaun Burr, Roy Simpson, Josefata Tawake, Matt Landers.
North Otago vs King Country, Whitestone Contracting Stadium, 2.30pm.
By JAMES FORD
PHOTO: JAMES FORD – Manulua Taiti in action during North Otago’s 43-34 win over Poverty Bar a fortnight ago.