Rams aim for first win in final

JAMIE SEARLE
Last updated 05:00 28/09/2013
Greg Dawson
JOHN HAWKINS/FAiRFAX NZ
SOUTHLAND RAMS COACH: Greg Dawson

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History is against the Southland Rams in today's South Island provincial rugby league final in Christchurch, but coach Greg Dawson believes he has the team to cause an upset.

The Rams take on Canterbury Development at the Halswell Domain at 3pm. Southland has never won the final.

The two teams met in Christchurch two weeks ago, with Canterbury winning the round-robin game 34-16.

Dawson has stressed to his team to concentrate on ball retention and solid defence.

"We've kept improving [during the competition] and, if everyone does their job, we've got a chance. If they come off the field knowing they've given 100 per cent, that's all we can ask.

"Everyone's got to give it their best shot."

The Rams had a strong team spirit and exciting young players, Dawson said yesterday.

Financial support from Road Safety Southland and the Invercargill Licensing Trust has enabled the team to use air travel to get to games outside the province.

"Having flights this year has definitely helped," Dawson said.

"It's far better than taking a couple of vans, drive eight or nine hours, playing a game and coming home the next day. It's too demanding on the guys."

The Southland Rams squad for today's final is: Lucas Pikia, Tihema Brown, Daniel Clarke, Karadene Neilson, Stacey Mikara, Pua Kuresa, Javaan Fa'amoe Ioane, Jayleel Fa'amoe Ioane, Tuki Hiko, Daniel Low, Eddie Hei Hei, Chee Turuwhenua, Mike Lemalie, Nick Ah Kuoi, Jeremy Borland, Patrick Sililoto, Chez Cameron, Chris Goddard (18th man).

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- The Southland Times

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