Cowboys coach aiming for better profile for league
A semifinals berth for Cowboys this season and to help lift Southland rugby league's profile are goals of Jeremy Borland.
He coaches Cowboys, who play City-Invercargill in the opening round of the Southland rugby league club competition at Sandy Point tomorrow.
''It would be good to get to the semifinals again and we might be able to take it one stage further and get to the finals,'' Borland said.
''I want to strengthen up the name of league down here and help develop younger players.''
Borland and other coaches have had training sessions affected by players being unavailable because of work commitments, especially night-shift workers.
''We've got some good young players coming through, like Josh Reedy, and we've got Nathan Anderson, who is one of the old heads.''
City-Invercargill manager-coach Bruce Williams said his team was in a rebuilding phase.
''We're hopeful of a lot better [results] than last year,'' Williams said.
The other league games tomorrow are also at Sandy Point - Cooks v Winton Warlords and He Tauaa v Bluff.
Cooks and Winton Warlords will play for the Karetai Cup. The cup is contested by the two clubs only and was donated by the Karetais after four of their family died in the Easy Rider boat tragedy in 2012.
The Karetais are supporters of rugby league, and Wiremu and Tawhiri Karetai play for Winton Warlords.
Winton coach Andrew Osborn said his team's training had been OK.
Cooks have their sights set on making the finals for third consecutive year. They beat He Tauaa in the 2012 final (27-26) and lost to them last year (56-10).
''We're looking for a good hit-out for the first game of the season,'' Cooks coach Eddie Hei Hei said.
''We'll pick up from last season.''
Reigning champions He Tauaa have lost at least five players from last season, including injured captain Sean Tamariki-Todd. The team trained with coach Moses Fa'amoe Ioane on Wednesday and are also coming off two months of crossfit training.
''We're pretty much in a rebuilding phase,'' Fa'amoe Ioane said.
Night-shift workers and fishermen in the Bluff team have missed some training nights because of work commitments but the squad are eager to be part of the club competition.
Coach Mike Lemalie is not hopeful of Bluff beating He Tauaa first up.
''We played them first last year and got slaughtered 80-10,'' Lemalie said.
''We'll try and keep them to under 50 [on Sunday].''
(All games at Sandy Point)
Cowboys v City-Invercargill
Cooks v Winton Warlords
He Tauaa v Bluff
The Southland Times