Hopes experience will help Orcas
Former Kiwis David Lomax and Mike Kuiti are teaming up to run the cutter at the Wellington Orcas this year.
A management reshuffle may be the much-needed change for the Orcas, after a pear-shaped 2011 campaign.
In previous years, players had fallen off track and lost interest towards the end of the season, but according to Lomax, the new Orcas head coach, this year will be different.
"Commitment to the representative programme has waned and it's probably had an influence with how they've finished up.
"We're just making sure we've got a good inclusive environment that players are going to want to be part of right until the end."
In his first year on the job, Lomax is hoping his experience will make a difference. He started playing in 1989 for the Wainuiomata Lions and first represented Wellington in 1992.
He debuted for the Kiwis in 1993, before turning his hand to coaching in 2002.
For five years he's been the assistant coach of the Junior Kiwis, as well as keeping his hand in grassroots footy, coaching the Te Aroha Eels and Porirua Vikings.
"I've been around football for a long time and I think I've got a grasp on the environment . . .
"As a player, and as a coach I've been in some pretty good situations and some pretty tough situations. That [knowledge] will be important for our group and how we steer our way through [the competition]."
With six debutants - Troy Lavery, Ray Lesoa, Benson Tago, Rubin MacCormick, Mona Seumanufagai, and A J Tuimavave - making up the majority of the backline, combining with experienced heads, like Dwayne Waterman and Jon Masaga in the frontline, this was the year to come out on top, Lomax said.
"I think we've surrounded ourselves with the right people to get the job done. Not only the playing group, but also the management group.
"We're going to be a challenge for all of the teams in the competition, and our focus is to win."
Their first match is against the Central Vipers today, a team Lomax has the inside scoop on after coaching them in 2002.
"It's going to be a tough task, but we never take any job lightly."
Orcas: Troy Lavery, Ray Lesoa, Matt Wanoa, Benson Tago, Eddie Aukino, Rubin MacCormick, Anton Wereta, Dwayne Waterman, Sheldon Akavi, Rocky Masoe, Jon Masaga, Tim Noble, Josh Hoffman. Interchange: George Ngaronga, Grayson Putu, A J Tuimavave, Mona Seumanufagai.
Central Vipers: Jared Verney, Sione Sifa, Jackson Samoa, Peta Simmonds, Andre Rore, Cruz Rauner, Cory Governor, Moeaki Samita, Otufangavalu Laumape, Mike Wilson, Wiremu Matakea, Sam Aupouri, Richard Graham (c). Interchange: Daniel Rakatau, Kele Kose, Alby King, Denzel Lepua.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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