Kaikorai expect test

Southern lock Archie Treadwell tries to bust through the tackle of Harbour centre Reuben Wairau....
Southern lock Archie Treadwell tries to bust through the tackle of Harbour centre Reuben Wairau. Southern’s Aron Einarsson and Harbour Ryan Palmer are is support. PHOTO: GERARD O'BRIEN
Kaikorai and Harbour had contrasting weekends.

The Demons brushed aside Alhambra-Union to win 71-8.

They took the opportunity to blood a bunch of rookies in what always shaped as a gentle opener.

They piled on 11 tries.

Harbour, however, got clobbered 48-17 by Southern at Bathgate Park.

They let themselves down with some poor discipline. They gave up a penalty try, copped two yellow cards and a red card for a high tackle.

But they will present a much sterner challenge when they host Kaikorai tomorrow.

Kaikorai coach Andy Hunter said Alhambra-Union had "asked some questions physically", but he expected the Hawks to provide a tougher examination.

"They are a handful any day, especially at Watson Park," he said.

"They are a strong ball-carrying team and they like to impose themselves physically.

"They’ll be a step up for us in terms of physical intensity."

Hunter was happy with his side’s first outing — they had a bye in the opening round.

"I think we had seven debutants, which is

always exciting.

"Charlie Breen was impressive at the back in No 15. He is very quick and is a real threat just by being fast."

Halfback Dylan Pledger had slotted in nicely as well, he added.

"They all fitted in well, really. As you said, it was not the most stressful introduction. No disrespect at all, but they got a chance to play a bit.

"But time will tell because they’ve got to keep fronting up against some tougher opposition."

Loose forward Slade McDowall hobbled off in the opening 10 minutes with a hamstring complaint. He will miss a couple of games.

But Kaikorai is well-served in the loose by Hayden Michael and Lucas Casey, and Orlando Tuhega-Vaitupu will get a chance off the bench.

Highlanders first five Rhys Patchell will play for the Demons this weekend. He has been overlooked in favour of Ajay Faleafaga for the game against the Rebels in Melbourne tomorrow night.

Highlanders lock Will Tucker made a big difference when he came on in the second half against AU, and he is expected to get a longer run tomorrow.

In other games, Taieri will host Southern, Green Island are at home to AU and Zingari-Richmond will look to extend their good start to the season against Dunedin at Montecillo.