Game of Survival for Oratia

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Oratia United head coach Steve Cain is issuing a plan for survival as the West Auckland outfit look set on climbing the table in the second round of fixtures in the Lotto NRFL Men’s Division One.

Currently bottom of the table and without a win so far this season, Oratia are only three points behind eleventh placed Manurewa.

A win will put them level on points and issue a position of confidence to the side in green as they look keep their place in the league.

“We don’t want to be where we are, it’s a case of surviving and staying in the division” Cain said.

“It’s not easy for us, as we don’t have the financial support, which a lot of other clubs have, so being competitive relies on the development of our home-grown players.”

“We need to be a lot more consistent and we need to start taking our chances and if we start doing that, then we will be competitive, and we’ll give ourselves a chance to stay up.”

Their first test at a shot at survival comes this weekend, when they take on ninth placed, Tauranga City on Saturday.

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With Oratia only eight points behind Tauranga on the table, the challenge of squaring up against the WaiBOP outfit at links Ave is something Cain sees as a tough challenge ahead of this weekend’s fixture.

“Tauranga are always a competitive team, they’re never an easy side to play against, especially on their home ground and the home advantage is actually quite a significant factor of success for them.”

“At the end of the day, they’re beatable, I don’t think they’re as strong as past Tauranga teams that I’ve seen in the past couple of years, but they’re experienced, they’re well organized and down there they’ll be hard to contend for points against.”

However, Oratia will be without their influential skipper, Mark Withers, who will miss the remainder of the season after a disappointing ACL injury.

Oratia United’s Mark Withers in action. Photo: David Joseph /

“Mark is an ex pro and a renowned goal scorer, he was our captain this year and he’s been a vocal point of our attack for the last three years, any team in this country would miss a player like that” Cain said.

“We just need to get on with it, there’s not much we can do, and we’ve had a season of disruption in terms of injuries and unavailability’s and things going wrong.”

“We just have to push on with it and hopefully we can do the work he’s done for us to stay in the division this year.”

The match will kick off at 3pm at Links Ave on Saturday.

Full Audio Interview:

Other Lotto NRFL Men’s Division One Fixtures:

Melville United v North Shore United – Gower Park, 3pm.
Waiheke United v Fencibles United – Onetangi Hill – Waiheke Island 3pm.
Forrest Hill Milford United v Manurewa – Becroft Park, 3pm.
Waitemata FC v Hibiscus Coast AFC – McLeod Park, 3pm.
Ellerslie AFC v Mt Albert-Ponsonby AFC – Michaels Ave Reserve, 5pm.

Lotto NRFL Men’s Division One Table: