Home crowd an extra incentive for North Otago in rematch

Jason Forrest. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
Jason Forrest. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
There is some extra buzz for North Otago this week.

The side gets the chance at a rematch against the Mid Canterbury side it lost to in Hinds a week ago.

This time it will be at home. And, most significantly, it will be in front of fans.

It will be the first time the Oamaru crowd will get to watch its team play live this season.

That will no doubt give players an added boost when they run on to the Whitestone Stadium turf at 2.30pm today.

"The players talked about it ... in regards to we’re at home, it’s our home ground, our family, friends and supporters," coach Jason Forrest said.

"They talked about it as a group. There’s a real buzz about it.

"It’s about trying to give something back.

"As hard as it is on the players, it’s hard on the families as well, not being able to come down and support their loved ones, so it’s a really cool opportunity."

That would be particularly special given the youth in this year’s squad, some of whom had not been able to play in front of family yet.

The team lost 30-7 last week against Mid Canterbury. However Forrest said there had been plenty of positives.

"We had about 60% of the ball, so we were holding the ball and creating opportunities. We just couldn’t execute."

There were "just a few unforced errors once we built phases," he said.

"If we can create tomorrow and then execute, hopefully we can get some points on the board."

Forrest said Mid Canterbury was a good team and well-coached.

But North Otago was not changing its approach now and was focusing on its own game.

 

North Otago v Mid Canty

Oamaru, today, 2.30pm
North Otago: Josh Phipps, Antonio Misiloi, Mathew Vocea, Samuel Tatupu, Jacob 
Day, Jake Matthews, Tarn Crow, Cameron Rowland, Marcus Balchin, Toni Taufa, 
Blake Welsh, Oliver Kinzett, Melikisua Kolinisau, Sam Sturgess, Kelepi Funaki. 
Reserves: Jake Greenslade, Robert Richardson, Josh Hayward, Tayne Russell, Tyler 
Burgess, Ben Paton, Jack Kelly.
Mid Canterbury: Cam Butler, Raitube Vasurakuta, Matthew Holmes, Paovale Sofai, 
Tait Chisman, Nathan McCloy, Tyler Blackburn, Seta Koroitana, Luke Gilbert, Lote 
Nasiga, Iromi Dawai, Lloyd Stephens, Adam Williamson, Elama Touli, Hamish Finnie. 
Reserves: Callum Burrell, Matt Groom, Ashton McArthur, Evan Blyth, Harvey Blyth, 
Tim Lawn, Lepani Seitava.

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