Rugby league: Raiders to meet Wakatipu He Tauaa in final

Southern bragging rights will be on the line when the South Pacific Raiders play Wakatipu He Tauaa in the final of the Otago-Southland combined competition in Queenstown today.

The final will be a rematch of a preliminary round match, which the Raiders won 48-26.

Raiders coach David Reedy said he was expecting a much tougher game this time.

"We will not be taking anything for granted. They will be at full strength and with a lot of their players named in the Southland rep team, they will be a tough side to beat," he said.

The Raiders were the form team of the Otago competition earlier in the year, until they were beaten 34-14 by the Kia Toa Tigers in the final.

Reedy did not agree that today's final was about redemption and said "we are just looking forward to playing in a final again".

Wakatipu He Tauaa co-coach Moses Ioane said he was confident his side could "go one better this time round and give the Raiders a run for their money."

He said it had been difficult getting his side together for training as half of the team trained in Invercargill and the other half in Queenstown.

"The only time we can get a full team run is usually a few hours before kick-off," he said.

But he was confident his team could combat a Raiders side he expected to come out firing in the forwards and spread it wide in the backs.

Both teams finished top of their sections in the preliminary round.

The Raiders were on equal points with University but because they had a better points differential, they progressed through to the final.

Wakatipu He Tauaa finished on equal points with Bluff, but because Bluff had defaulted two of its three games, and had not notified the competition's management committee by 9pm Thursday before those matches, it lost all flag points earned.

Southern zone general manager Steve Martin said while it was disappointing that Bluff had defaulted those matches, he was "thrilled" with how the competition had gone.

Martin said there were good people in the region running the game, and next year he would look at getting the competition organised earlier.

Lindsay Dunlop, of Dunedin, will referee the final, in his first year of refereeing.