Goal is na­tional con­test

South Waikato News - - SPORT -

The Raukawa Premier Rugby League team kicks off 2012 in the Tainui pre-sea­son chal­lenge on Septem­ber 15 in Pu­taruru against strong ri­vals Waikato.

Raukawa, Ma­niapoto, Hau­raki and Waikato will play in the Tainui pre- sea­son chal­lenge tour­na­ment over four weeks, which leads into the Na­tional Maori Rugby League Tour­na­ment at Labour week­end.

Team cap­tain Graeme Daw­son rec­ol­lected the 2011 na­tional Maori tour­na­ment as one of the best per­for­mances from a Raukawa team.

The team were well rep­re­sented with the ma­jor­ity of play­ers com­ing from the Raukawa Rohe.

They won three out of four games at the 2011 tour­na­ment with some hard-fought wins.

Iron­i­cally, Raukawa beat the even­tual tour­na­ment win­ners Te Rarawa in the round robin but missed the semi­fi­nals by points dif­fer­en­tial.

Coach of the Raukawa team Joe Teoko­tai is ea­ger to start this year’s push to the Labour week­end na­tional Maori tour­na­ment, and is sup­ported by strong man­age­ment.

‘‘We have a very good base of play­ers and en­thu­si­as­tic man­age­ment lineup,’’ he said.

‘‘All we need to do is put things to­gether at train­ings and games and I’m sure we will do well at the tour­na­ment.’’

The Raukawa Premier team will start their cam­paign with train­ing, 6pm sharp, Thurs­day night at the Toko­roa Memo­rial Sports Ground.

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