Gorinski bringing up 50th match

Julia Gorinski, of the Otago Spirit, runs into the defence during her side’s Farah Palmer Cup...
Julia Gorinski, of the Otago Spirit, runs into the defence during her side’s Farah Palmer Cup match against Northland in Dunedin last weekend. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
The way Otago Spirit lock Julia Gorinski explains it you would think she reached 50 games for her province by accident.

The 28-year-old will bring up the milestone against Taranaki in New Plymouth tomorrow, but nothing about her career has been accidental.

It has all been down to hard work.

Hard work and commitment.

"I have not thought too much about. It has kind of just happened," she said when asked about her approaching half century.

That is one way of putting it. Of course there is all the training she has shown up to over the years. The constant juggling she has had to do to stay on top of her day job while also playing top level rugby.

And those aches and pains do not get any easier to manage the older you get.

But that answer kind of sums up Gorinski. She just rolls up her sleeves and gets on with it.

"I guess it is a cool milestone to hit. I probably never thought I’d get there when I started all those years ago."

Spirit coach Scott Manson described his co-captain in much more glowing terms.

"She is pretty impressive with her attitude, work ethic and her habits. And she is one of the players who sets our standards in how we operate and behave.

"Nothing is ever a problem for Jules, she just works her butt off and gets stuck into everything."

Gorinski started getting stuck in back in 2014 when she made her debut. She came on as a sub in the 37-17 win against Counties-Manukau at Logan Park.

Women’s rugby had come a long way since then, she said.

"I definitely think it has has gathered some momentum. It has definitely become a lot more professional, which is cool. The standard is increasing but there is a lot more required now.

"When we started we just did the Tuesday-Thursday trainings, but now it feels like we are training 20 times a week."

Those new pressures on her time have not made the juggling act any easier for the Westpac agri-business manager.

But Gorinski, who played for Matatua in Super Rugby Aupiki this year, has a couple of goals remaining in the game.

She is determined to help the Spirit get back into the Premiership.

"I definitely want to have another crack at that.

"I think I’ve got maybe one or two more years in me. I’m starting to get one or two niggly injuries which is sometimes taking the fun out of it.

"And it is a big commitment, but every time I think about quitting I wonder what else I would sort of do."

There is some unfinished business in the Premiership. Otago was relegated last year and that hurt.

"We were almost there, but if the team stays together then I think next year we would be in a pretty good spot to take on some of those bigger teams."

To get another shot in the Premiership the Spirit will need to win the Championship first. But Otago has started well.

It posted a convincing 44-22 win against Hawke’s Bay in Hastings and backed that up with a 39-10 win against Northland in Dunedin last weekend.

Manson has made wholesale changes to the run-on side for the game against Taranaki.

Some of the regular starters will watch from the bench to begin with, including star halfback Georgia Cormick, veteran fullback Sheree Hume and co-captain Tegan Hollows.

Centre Cheyenne Cunningham has a glute strain and has not been named in the side.

Farah Palmer Cup

Otago v Taranaki, tomorrow

Otago: Mia Cochrane, Kiana Wereta, Keely Hill, Oceana Campbell, Brigid Corson, Maia Joseph, Nicole Kennedy, Kristi Kerr, Leah Miles, Grace Carroll, Julia Gorinski (co-captain), Kayley Johnson, Paige Church, Gemma Millar, Lucy Cahill. Reserves: Tegan Hollows (co-captain), Isla Pringle, Vika Piukala, Ella Gomez, Zoe Whatarau, Georgia Cormick, Atawhai Hotene, Sheree Hume.

Taranaki: TBC

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