Pressure on Town team to extend series

JONATHAN MCKEOWN
Last updated 13:00 03/08/2012

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Town will have to do it tough if they are to keep the ProRugby League Town-Country Origin series alive at Brightwater Domain tomorrow.

A Country team with all the momentum hosts this week's match, kicking off at Wanderers Sports Ground at 3.30pm, after taking the first match in a 36-26 win over Town at Trafalgar Park last Sunday.

Not only is the Country team loaded with 12 members of the champion Richmond Rabbits outfit, they play at the wolf pack's den where Wanderers Wolves went unbeaten in 2012. Five players from the pack know that territory well as does Wolves and Country coach Joe Kiriona.

Town will have to counter a lethal Country backline that features the powerful running of last week's two-try centre Callum Smith and the kicking prowess of Hayden Smith.

They will also need to get their game-breakers on the ball, getting the likes of Jamein Bristowe more one-on-one opportunities if they hope to challenge.

If Town do manage to get up for the win the series will move on to a decider the following weekend at a venue yet to be confirmed. If Country continues their dominance in 2012, after Town won last year's series 3-0, the series will be over and no third game will be required.

However, that won't be all for local rugby league fans as the best players from across the region will be awarded representative honours in the 2012 Tasman Titans squad.

The best 21 players from across the Tasman Rugby League competition will be announced at the after-match function in the Wanderers clubrooms from about 6pm. The new Tasman Titans playing strip will also be unveiled.

The Titans will begin training for the South Island Districts Competition that kicks off against the West Coast at Wigham Park in Greymouth on August 25.

South Island Districts Competition draw: Tasman Titans v West Coast, 2.30pm August 25, Wigham Park, Greymouth. Tasman Titans v Canterbury, 2.30pm September 8, Trafalgar Park, Nelson. Tasman Titans v Southland Rams, 2.30pm, September 15, Invercargill. Tasman Titans v Otago, 2.30pm September 22, Trafalgar Park, Nelson. Grand Final, September 29, venue TBC.

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- The Nelson Mail

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