April 08, 2021
Northland is leaving no stones unturned in its preparations for the opening match of the 2021 Skipper Cup against last season's finalist Naitasiri this Saturday.
Coached by former 7s star Isake Katonibau, the side fought hard in the B Division last year to reclaim its spot in the top 8 in 2021.
Katonibau said the side will focus on their forwards and will look to keep play tight.
“We all know about the battle in the B division and how hard it is to come up from there. The boys did a great job last year and now entering the competition after two years is a big thing for us. The main competition will be very competitive because there are strong teams here.”
“I feel that there was even difficult competition in the B Division which we will take positively as we play in provincial rugby. We have set our targets to reaching the final but to reach that target we will have to crush the teams down.”
Katonibau said Naitasiri is a team not to underestimate but Northland is ready to give them a rough time.
“Our first match will be a rugged one because Naitasiri lost in the final last year and I’m sure they will want to reach again this year. We have to keep an eye on every move they make on the field and attempt to ruin their tactics.”
“Currently we are working on our forwards so that Naitasiri is wary of us. We have to make sure that we have a solid forward which can stop Naitasiri and we want our forwards to take the team ahead.”
“The backline looks good but we know that a strong defence should be up against them. It’s after long we play them but we know the consequences of not taking early precautions. We have to be mentally and physically prepared so that we understand the match and put up a good performance.”
Northland will host Naitasiri at Gatward Park in Tailevu at 3pm.
By Romena Romena