The Manawatu Wanganui men's Toro Interprovincial team had their final preparations today in New Plymouth before their first up match against North Harbour tomorrow morning. Strong winds today for the practice round would have made it tough for all the teams preparing for the week, however at this time of year, it is very likely that wind will play a big part in this weeks event.
Our team of Junior Tatana, Regan Cording, Regan McConaghty, Mike Atkins, Greg Shaw & Tane North will be out to show their higher ranked opposition that they are a team not to be taken lightly, despite being without the experience and skill of players such as Josh Munn, Lachie McDonald and Tyler Hodge, who have now all turned professional.
The toughest teams on our side of the draw, would on paper at least, seem to include Waikato, Bay of Plenty, North Harbour and Auckland. After the first up match Tuesday morning against North Harbour, the team has a bye in the afternoon. On Wednesday morning we face Bay of Plenty, followed by one of the lesser ranked teams Poverty Bay East Coast. The team however should not ever be complacent against any team in this competition.
On Thursday we take on defending champs Waikato, and then all teams get a rest that afternoon. On Friday our matches are Auckland in the morning, before finishing off the round robin against Hawkes Bay on Friday afternoon.
Only 2 teams from each side of the seeded draw will go on to compete on Saturday morning in the semi finals, before the finalists play off in the afternoon for the title.
Given the inexperience of our team at national level competition, it would seem a big ask for the team to make it through to play on Saturday, but if all team members fire throughout the week, we certainly cannot write them off.
We wish them all the best for both an enjoyable and successful week.
Below: The stunning par 3 6th hole at New Plymouth GC