Hard work has paid off for Green Is

A few more measly bonus points and Green Island would be ensconced in the top four.

As it is, the club is very much in contention with four wins from seven games. It is one of only four sides in the premier grade which has won more games than it has lost.

It is a tight competition this season with three teams locked together on 17 points.

University is still out in front with 31 points from Taieri on 26, and Southern has climbed to third place with 24 points.

Dunedin is clinging on to fourth spot with 20 points. But, with a record of three wins and four losses, it is in that lofty position thanks to eight bonus points.

Green Island, by contrast, has just one bonus point. The teams meet at Kettle Park tomorrow, so Green Island will have the opportunity to leapfrog the Sharks with a win.

And on form you would have to give it a decent chance. It has won its past three games and two of its four wins have been against Southern and Harbour, which contested the final last year.

Coach Dean Moeahu feels his side has to rely on hard work rather than star power and that willingness to toil away has produced some good results.

"I'm not going to say we've got no superstars but what we've got is a group of hard workers," Moeahu said.

"Two years ago when we took over the prems, that is what we wanted to do. We've installed a group of hard workers."

That work ethic was evident during a tense 20-19 win against Alhambra-Union earlier this month.

Green Island was forced to make 178 tackles and missed only 12.

"That's what I say about having men who work hard. A lot of people said we were lucky to get away with that win but when you go back and look at the stats, it was really our game to lose.

"They had a lot of ball but our defence got us home."

Pivot Finn Strawbridge has had an impact since arriving at the club from Christchurch this season. He is a good goal-kicker, quality defender and reads the game nicely.

Former Pirates and Southern loose forward Josh Clark and lock Woody Kirkwood have supplied the team with a steady flow of lineout ball.

Kirkwood is really growing into a good premier player and Clark has been a dominant player in the tournament for many seasons.

Skipper Sam Eriepa has been solid in the midfield. He gets through plenty of work on defence and is the glue holding the backline together.

Moeahu feels teams will need at least 40 points to make the top four and his side will be on track to reach that mark with a win against Dunedin.

Add a Comment