Match day arrives earlier for adaptable league rivals

20:00, May 10 2012

The Wakatipu Giants and Mataura Warriors will treat themselves to a Sunday off after the two clubs agreed to shift their showdown to tomorrow.

Southland District Rugby League has for many years opted to play its matches on Sundays to avoid a conflict with rugby union's Saturday competitions.

However, with Wakatipu and Mataura having only a couple of players in their squads who choose to play both league and rugby, they have decided to move this weekend's fixture forward.

Mataura manager and district league president Nic Brady said the idea to shift all league matches to Saturdays had been toyed with but officials believed it best to allow people the opportunity to play both rugby union and league.

"I think it would be another year or two away.

"I think it's a decision we have to make at some stage to make league grow," Brady said.


"But if, say, we did it next year we would probably lose two or three teams from our comp," he said.

Wakatipu Giants club president Teaukura Moetaua said his players were looking forward to playing on a Saturday and enjoying a night out together without the thought of work the next day.

Mataura will head to Queenstown tomorrow smarting after being handed out a 58-12 thumping by defending champions the Lonestar Cowboys last Sunday.

Mataura had been the high-fliers of the competition in what is their first season together and looked very much like they would take some beating.

But the Cowboys' big and strong ball runners exposed some holes in the Mataura defence and stretched out to the unexpectedly big win.

From all accounts the loss hurt Mataura's pride and they are eager to respond well tomorrow.

The Wakatipu Giants are also coming off a decisive loss after they went down 30-10 to Cooks last weekend.

Despite that setback, Wakatipu are on the improve with many of their players never having played league before joining the club this year.

Winton have been entrusted with the job of trying to tame the rampant Cowboys when they make the trip to Invercargill. .

In the third senior club game this weekend Cooks are heavily favoured to beat City-Invercargill in the game at Elles Rd.

The Southland Times