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