Rams must regroup to engage Titans
Southland Rams coach Warrick Anderson says his team will need to be more clinical when they take on the Tasman Titans in the South Island competition next Saturday.
With the Rams having the bye this weekend, the side had a hit-out at Elles Road against an invitational team, mostly featuring club players.
The Rams had a comfortable 50-14 victory.
However, the manner of the win did not impress Anderson, who made his players carry out sprints after the game.
Southland have won their opening two games in the competition and can clinch a spot in the final with a win over Tasman at Elles Road next Saturday afternoon.
If the Rams could pick up the win, it would complete a remarkable turnaround for a team who failed to win a game last season.
Anderson said his side would be punished by a talented Tasman side, if they made they same basic errors.
Southland got off to a fast start, scoring four tries inside the opening 20 minutes but then began to ease off and become complacent.
"We got worse as the game went on," Anderson said.
"They found it easy and went away from the game plan. We started playing individual stuff."
Saturday's game was an ideal opportunity for Anderson to mix up his squad and give game-time to players on the fringes.
Lonestar Cowboys player Arfi Peteru took his chances, scoring two tries.
Second-rowers Chee Turuwhenua and Zane Hiko also stood out.
Young halfback Jayleel Fa'amoe-Ioane was also a handful for the opposition on attack and dotted down for a double.
The Rams have been dealt a blow with hard-nosed prop Rahiri Collins ruled out of the rest of the campaign with a knee injury.
Collins has given the side plenty of go-forward this year and will be difficult to replace.
In South Island premier games over the weekend, the Otago Whalers went on a second-half rampage to thump the West Coast Chargers 62-18 in Dunedin.
The Canterbury Bulls overpowered Tasman 28-10 in Nelson after they had led by only 8-4 at halftime.
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