Thu, 12 May 2016
This week’s Counties Power Game of the Week puts the spotlight on the Massey Cup Under 21 competition, with Bombay Roger Gill Agriculture hosting Patumahoe Albycon Limited at Bombay 2 at 1pm on Saturday.
Bombay Roger Gill Agriculture sit in 5th place on the Massey Cup ladder and Patumahoe in 3rd. The two sides have already faced off this season, with Patumahoe coming away with a close 19-15 victory.
Patumahoe Albycon Limited head coach Barney Te Tai has had a horror run with injuries this season, so he was impressed with his side’s 29-7 win over Waiuku last weekend.
“The boys did really well. We had to try a whole lot of new combinations because I’m riddled with injuries at the moment. Out of our 30 registered players, we have about 10 boys out. We have struggled all year with numbers. In our very first game of the season against Waiuku, we had 15 players. We are slowly getting them back.”
Te Tai said his side have gone pretty well so far this season, given the limited numbers and lack of experience. He has a lot of 18 and 19 year olds in his side, so some of them will still be eligible in a couple of years. He said his side is improving every game.
“We have had to train a couple of boys to jump into the front row because we are really short in the front row, so we have converted some boys. Our forwards are doing really well and I have a really exciting backline, so I’m pretty positive about that. We just need to learn to play an 80-minute game. We play well for 60 minutes and then we go astray for 20 minutes, so we need to work on going the full distance.”
Te Tai’s credited a couple of players in his forward pack who have played exceptionally well this season.
“Elliott Winter and Nick Hornblow are both quality players in our forward pack. They have probably dominated our Player of the Day for the last six weeks. In my backs I have a very exciting young player by the name of Caleb Heikell and fellow midfielder Filimone Loumoli has also been impressive. Our fullback Nathan Linford has gone well too.”
He's expecting a great battle with Bombay this weekend, and Te Tai knows both clubs really well because he coached Bombay for the last two years.
“I expect it to be as close as it was last time. Bombay have got a very experienced forward pack. I think our strengths in the first game was our backline. It’s going to be a hard and physical battle and it will be tough up on the hill, but we’re looking forward to it.”
Bombay Roger Gill Agriculture have also had their fair share of injury concerns, with head coach Leo Brady having to chop and change some of his forwards into the backline at times. They lost 29-5 to Pukekohe over the weekend, but they trained with the Premier side on Tuesday night, which Brady hopes will put them in good stead for Saturday.
“The team has potential we just have to fix up a few little things. There aren’t massive issues, it’s just little problems like making mistakes at the wrong time. High tackles, offloading at the wrong time and another thing is just making sure everyone comes to both trainings is a hard one too. It’s hard because the guys have work commitments, which obviously comes first because they are not getting paid to play rugby.”
Brady said his captain and number eight Sam Knight has been leading by example all season, as well as loosehead prop Daniel Perez. He also credited Alex Harris, who plays halfback and first five-eighth.
“They are at training every week and set good standards. We’ve had a few injuries this season as well, but Patumahoe are a good side, they have a good backline and a stable forward pack. It’s going to be a good game this weekend no doubt, and it will be good to be up on the hill at home.”
Watch this weekend’s Counties Power Game of the Week between Bombay Roger Gill Agriculture and Patumahoe Albycon Limited in the Massey Cup Under 21 competition at 1:00pm at Bombay 2 on Saturday.
Richard Spranger Photo Credit