Focus shifts from club contest to making Rams campaign a success
The focus will quickly switch in Southland rugby league circles from the club scene to mounting a successful Southland Rams campaign.
The curtain was brought down on the 2012 club season on Sunday after a dramatic final where the Cooks tipped over He Tauaa in a golden point victory.
Many of the players involved in the final will unite tomorrow for training as part of the Rams wider-training squad. The Rams will take part in the South Island provincial tournament this year, which also features Otago, Canterbury A, Canterbury under-20, West Coast and Tasman.
An internal game is likely to be staged during the wider-squad training tomorrow before a team is picked for the Rams' first and only pre-season hitout against Otago in Dunedin on August 12.
The Rams' first competition game will be against Otago at Rugby Park in Invercargill on August 25.
As was the case for the club final on Sunday, Provincial Drainage has agreed to help pay the rental fee to use Rugby Park for the representative games.
Southland District Rugby League will also take one of their four home games to either Winton or Mataura to give the campaign a country flavour.
Southland District Rugby League president Nic Brady, who is also the Rams manager, was excited about the representative season. He said new coach Warrick Anderson, who has been commuting from Christchurch, has already had a major impact in his short time with the squad.
Brady felt the standard of club league in Southland had lifted because of some of the knowledge Anderson had passed on in his short time in the role.
"I think the whole level in the last month has actually picked up, not just with some of the stuff he's taught them in training and he's made them believe in themselves," he said.
"The last thing he said to the boys is he's confident with the team and we're going to have a really competitive team."
- © Fairfax NZ News