Vol­canix play fi­nal home game, vow to do bet­ter in 2019

Bay of Plenty Times - - SPORT -

The Bay of Plenty Vol­canix have al­ready scored a his­tory-mak­ing win over the Auck­land Storm this sea­son, but they’re hop­ing to do it a sec­ond time on their home ground to­day.

The Vol­canix come up against Auck­land in the Farah Palmer Cup Premier­ship rel­e­ga­tion fix­ture at Tau­ranga Do­main to­day and there are a few goals cap­tain Christie Yule hopes to achieve in this fi­nal game of the sea­son.

They kick off at 11.30am and she says all the women in the team have been en­cour­ag­ing friends and fam­ily to sup­port them and draw a big crowd.

“We’ll try and pack out the sta­dium,” she says.

She also wants to win for two rea­sons — to re­main in the Premier­ship of the com­pe­ti­tion and to make his­tory twice in one sea­son.

“We want to do well . . . we’re at home.”

Last week the team suf­fered a nar­row 26-22 loss to Coun­ties Manukau, fin­ish­ing the round robin in fifth, just four points be­hind fourth-placed Manawatu.

The loss meant they now play off for fifth place against Auck­land and the loser will be rel­e­gated to the sec­ond tier Cham­pi­onship divi­sion next sea­son.

The team ob­vi­ously doesn’t want that to hap­pen and will be play­ing their tough­est chal­lenge of the sea­son to­day.

When the Vol­canix last played Auck­land Storm at the end of Septem­ber in round five of their seven-week cam­paign the side se­cured a 34-29 his­tory-mak­ing win.

It was the first time the Bay of Plenty women have ever beaten their Auck­land coun­ter­parts.

In 2015 they lost 101-0 and in 2016 lost 62-0 to the same op­po­nents.

Yule says the women are ex­cited for to­day’s match and will head out on to the field and give ev­ery­thing they have.

Last time they came up against Auck­land they worked on play­ing to their strengths and al­though the sec­ond half wasn’t as strong as their first it high­lighted some of their weak­nesses, which they would aim to fo­cus on to­day. They’ll be play­ing a sim­i­lar game this time around but will fo­cus on be­ing able to play their own game for a full 80 min­utes.

“We don’t want to put our­selves in the same sit­u­a­tion.”

Head coach Bren­don Webby’s fi­nal line-up sees just one change in the start­ing for­ward pack, with prop Brax­ton Walker start­ing at loose­head ahead of An­gel Mulu.

In the backs, Jade Tuilaepa will re­turn to start at half­back, shift­ing Ora Wil­liams back to first five in the only changes in the back­line.

Hooker Kura Hud­son will be

Farah Palmer Cup Kristin Mac­far­lane

Baye Ja­cob (17), Lily Florence (19), Brax­ton Walker (6), Kate Hen­wood (19), Amanda Aldridge (11), Ken­dra Reynolds (25), Les Elder (9), Christie Yule (18) (C), Jade Tuilaepa (9), Ora Wil­liams (12), Emily Magee (4), Re­nee Wick­liffe (5), Hana Tapi­ata (14), Polly Playle (12), Sap­phire Tapsell (19).Re­serves: Kura Hud­son, Raw­inia Luka (4), Calli Per­rott (20), Mikyla Ward­law (11), Te Rina Mohi (2), Ta­nia Ra­haruhi (13), Olivia Richard­son (3) hop­ing to de­but off the bench with Raw­inia Luka cov­er­ing loose­head prop. Lock­ing duo of Calli Per­rott and Mikyla Ward­law re­main to com­plete the for­ward re­serves.

Te Rina Mohi re­turns after hav­ing been ruled out with sick­ness last week for cover at first five.

Ta­nia Ra­haruhi and Olivia Richard­son re­tain their po­si­tion as re­serve cover at mid­field and wing re­spec­tively.

At the end of the game though, Yule says they will de­brief, re­flect and en­joy each other’s com­pany to cel­e­brate the end of the sea­son.

Next year, Yule says she hopes to re­main in the Premier­ship, play­ing with a lot of the same women as this sea­son.

“The sea­son is only seven games long, halfway through we sort of came into our own.”

Play­ers work well to­gether and ini­tial con­ver­sa­tions be­tween each other have found most want to “give it an­other nudge” for a higher fin­ish next sea­son, which is good news for the team, Yule says.

PHOTO / GETTY IM­AGES

Cap­tain Christie Yule wants the Vol­canix to do well at home.

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