Goal is national contest
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.