Date: May 06, 2019
Author: Mark Hayes

#IntSeries: Tassie men on a mission

It’s a big week for all competitors at the #IntSeries, but it’s enormous for the host Tasmanians.

And while the women’s squad has embarked on the next generation, the men’s squad very much has a “now or never” feel about it.

The men’s team has been largely unchanged for the past 4-5 years, knocking regularly on the door of higher honours without taking that next giant stride.

Now, with several of the experienced members of the squad understood to be ponding representative retirement, it’s the chance to take that leap on home soil that has the eight-man squad on a mission.

Captain Mitch Van Noord said if the Apple Islanders could salute, it might prompt a couple of decisions.

“Considering there are a couple of them that are members at Tassie, it would be good if we could take it out – why wouldn’t you (retire then) if you were considering it?” Van Noord said.

“I think anyone can win on their day and we definitely have a red-hot chance this year.

“We’ve come close (against) Queensland and New South (Wales), but we just need to fight it out all the way to the end.

“We haven’t spoken about it as yet, I think everyone knows what they need to do, we just need to put in the hard yards and fight it out at the time.”

Tasmania won its first #IntSeries title at Royal Hobart in 1968, then again on home soil at this year’s men’s host club Tasmania, in 1974. It has not won anywhere since 1977 at Woodlands in Melbourne.

And while the Tigers will not start favourites this week, it wouldn’t surprise those who’ve watched them push their northern counterparts in the past couple of years to see them notch win No.4.

“We’ve done a fair bit of work over the past few weeks at Tassie golf club to prepare ourselves for it,” Van Noord said.

“Been doing practice, match play over there … just learning the course.

“It would mean everything – for the boys in Tassie, it’s the biggest event of the year.”