Woodlands unsure if Mackintosh will play in final
Woodlands coach Damien Pine is not sure - or at least is not letting on - whether they will have Super Rugby prop Jamie Mackintosh on hand for the Southland club rugby final on Saturday.
Mackintosh's Chiefs team was knocked out of the Super Rugby competition on Saturday night after losing to the Brumbies in Canberra.
Pine said yesterday he had been in touch with Mackintosh about the prospect of playing in Saturday's Galbraith Shield final against Marist at Rugby Park and it would depend on whether Mackintosh was back in Southland in time for the game.
He did confirm that if Mackintosh was to be involved in the 2014 decider, it would be from the bench.
"I've been in contact with him but we are just working through if he is going to be home in time [from Hamilton]. They've got the formal reviews [at the Chiefs], and he's got to pack his house up and arrange for his vehicle to get down - and all that stuff. So we'll see, but he definitely won't be starting anyway."
Pine said the only other question mark was over Warrick Lynn, who took a knock to the head and still needs to be cleared to play.
While the expectation is for yet another close Galbraith Shield final, Woodlands do have the favourites tag, on the back of their remarkable track record alone.
They have played in six of the last seven finals and have won four them. Pine has been at the helm for all that impressive seven-year period.
The finals experience should count for plenty for Woodlands on Saturday.
Pine said the result of the final was something his team would not get too worked up about and instead it would focus on the type of performance it needed to bringwould be the focus this week.
Despite making yet another final, Pine said the feeling was they were not exactly happy with their season to date. It included the 37-32 win over Pirates-Old Boys in the semifinal.
"At the end of that game, you would have thought we had lost, to be honest. We had talked about doing things and we just didn't do them - and credit to [Pirates-Old Boys], that was a lot to do with them not letting us," he said.
"But we didn't stick to our game plan and, more importantly, our defence is something we've tried to pride ourselves on and we were a bit disappointing."
"While the Shield is a big thing, I want to talk to the boys about putting a performance on the field where we can say we played well. Because, to be honest, we haven't really done that. We played well against Star the second time, in the first half, and we played well against the Barbarians. But apart from that we haven't put something together where we all came off and thought, 'that was really good'."
The Southland Times