Hawke's Bay Tuis women's rugby team's assistant coach Albie Baker is adamant the province needs a specialist defence coach.
"If there is a defence guru out there somewhere who is keen to come to the Bay then the Hawke's Bay union should hire that person. It's not just our team which needs to improve their defensive work ... it's all of the province's teams from the Magpies down," Baker said after the Tuis' fourth consecutive NPC loss, an 85-5 drubbing against Otago Spiriti in Dunedin on Saturday.
"All of our players in the Bay have big shoulders but there is too much grabbing going on," Baker explained.
As has been the case in the Tuis' previous three losses, they created several trycoring opportunities but didn't finish them apart from the one try scored by winger Shaylee Tipiwai.
"We put phases together but the linking between backs and forwards isn't working as well as it should. We've got to get that right," Baker said.
Transitional play is another major concern for the Tuis. Far too often they would be on attack and turn the ball over and the Tuis would be far too slow to react and get into defensive mode.
"Because of this, Otago virtually scored off every mistake we made," Baker said.
Once again, first five-eighth Krysten Duffill was a workaholic for the Tuis and produced a defensive workrate beyond the call of duty.
Lock Amy Pettman was accurate at lineout time and again constructive in the loose.
"This was the fourth consecutive week opposing coaches had thrown praise Amy's way. The fact we won all our lineouts is a big plus for her," Baker said.
Former Tui Claire Richardson, a multiple world championship winner with the Black Ferns, was outstanding for Otago at second five-eighth.
Her combination with Black Fern Kelly Brazier, who played centre, was lethal.
The Tuis have the bye this week and then take on unbeaten defending champions Auckland away on October 13.
The Tuis complete their campaign with a home match against Manawatu on October 20 and, considering their form to date, will be doing well to avoid the wooden spoon.