Matson wants improved effort
Canterbury rugby coach Tabai Matson wants to see more out of his "Cantabrians" squad today in Oamaru when they take on Southland in their second preseason match of the year.
After being humbled by Tasman 29-5 in Kaikoura last week there's plenty of room for improvement from the young side.
“There were aspects of our game last week that we weren't happy with, but there were certain parts we were very pleased with," he said.
“I think this week we need to look at being more effective at the breakdown and in the scrums and lineouts. And after a pretty poor first half last week we will be looking to start strongly."
Last week the backline didn't get much of a chance to stretch their legs and with more wet weather forecast for North Otago today, it could be another forward battle.
As he assesses candidates for his final ITM Cup squad, Matson will also have an eye on the new laws, including the new scrum rules, where players will now be asked to "crouch, touch and set" by referees.
"We have talked about it a lot at practice, so it will be interesting to see how they go about it on the field," he said.
With Christchurch club finals beginning this week, Matson is also wary of the need to keep some players fresh so they can back up on Saturday.
"We have been working pretty closely with the club coaches to ensure their players are still available," he said.
Southland have named a strong side, which includes Jimmy Cowan, Tim Boys and John Hardie.
Canterbury will play Wellington in their final preseason match next week.
CANTABRIANS: Sam Monaghan, Rhys Llewellyn, Shayne Anderson, James Schrader, Telusa Veainu, Mark Jackman, Ellery Wilson, Taniela Manu, Tom Stanley, Sam Dickinson, Dom Bird, Joel Everson, Andrew Olorenshaw, Codie Taylor, Paea Fa'anunu. Reserves: Mark Abbott, Jed Brown, Sam Cottam, Mitch Graham, Kolio Hifo, Jordan Hyland, Luke Katane, Fia Meafou, Matt Moulds, Rameeka Paraki.
SOUTHLAND: Marty McKenzie, Mark Wells, Matt Saunders, Josh Hall, Tim Cornforth, Scott Eade, Jimmy Cowan, Hoani Macdonald, Tim Boys, John Hardie, Alex Ryan, Ben Nally, Nic Barrett, Brayden Mitchell, Tuki Raimona. Reserves; Jason Rutledge, Talemaitoga Tuapati, Micheal Peterson, Aston Talaia, Josh Bekhuis, Campbell Smith, Scott Cowan, Matt Gandy, Junior Ngualafe.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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