Thu, 19 May 2016
The Counties Cavaliers Selection side came away with a 24-22 win over Northland Rugby Union HP at Wellsford Rugby Football Club last night.
It was a good opportunity for the Cavaliers players to try out the new breakdown and tackle rules which will be in place during the Mitre 10 Cup season.
Northland has already been trialling the new rules in their club competition so it took a while for the Cavaliers to adjust.
Coach Darryl Suasua said playing under the new rules was a big thing for the side heading into the game.
“We played a different 15 players in each half, so in the first half we were getting penalised at pretty much every breakdown, it was hard to adapt. But in the second half, the other 15 guys had obviously been watching the first spell and they adjusted a lot better. The game is so much faster with the new rules, so it certainly took us a while but we got there in the end.”
It was hailing when the Cavaliers selection side left Auckland for Wellsford yesterday, but when they arrived it was clear with blue skies.
Suasua said the squad did good stuff and they were happy with everyone that they took up.
“Because of the new rules we are looking at how it may change some positions, so for example we played Harry Fitzsimons (Karaka) at openside flanker, he is usually a lock and he went really well, so did Fotu Lokotui (Patumahoe). Basically, the jackling number 7 who gets his hands on the ball at the breakdown is out of the game.
“But overall, everyone had a great attitude and we played a Northland team who looked pretty well drilled. They have been together training for a while. The other thing we are happy about is that there hasn’t been too much disruption to club rugby. We got the guys together a few times in the lead up to the match and they went well.”
Another Counties Cavaliers Selection side will be named in a few weeks, to take on a Tasman Selection side next month.