Hawke's Bay take on Bay of Plenty in this bottom-of-the-table ITM Cup clash, with both sides needing a win to avoid the big drop.
Hawke's Bay take on Bay of Plenty in this bottom-of-the-table ITM Cup clash in Napier, with both sides needing a win to avoid the big drop.
With just three victories between them, the two Bays are anchored to the bottom of the Premiership table, staring relegation in the face.
The Steamers – two wins this season – are coming off a confidence-boosting victory against Auckland, while the Magpies run the risk of losing three on the trot.
With both sides in the Premier relegation zone at present, there is likely to be no quarter asked or given in the battle between the two archrivals.
Bay of Plenty have lost captain Jamie Nutbrown for a month with a dislocated shoulder and pivot Chris Noakes to a groin injury, however All Black flanker Sam Cane has been given a release for this encounter and will join skipper Tanerau Latimer and Luke Braid in a devastating combination of loose forwards.
More to follow…
Hawke's Bay: 15 Andrew Horrell, 14 Gillies Kaka, 13 Marvin Karawana, 12 Tua Saseve, 11 Penikolo Latu, 10 Daniel Waenga, 9 Chris Eaton,8 Mike Coman (capt), 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Tevita Fomai, 5 Johan Schoonbee, 4 Ross Kennedy,3 Peter Borlase, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Adrian Barone.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Brendon Edmonds, 18 Tom Parsons, 19 Kieran Coll, 20 Isaac Paewai, 21 Ihaia West, 22 Nick McLennan.
Bay of Plenty: 15 Lance MacDonald, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Kenny Lynn, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Maru Henry, 10 Nick McCashin, 9 Josh Hall, 8 Luke Braid, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Tanerau Latimer, 5 Leon Power, 4 Culum Retallick, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Dan Perrin, 1 Greg Pleasants-Tate.
Replacements: 16 John Pareanga, 17 Tristan Moran, 18 Dan Goodwin, 19 Carl Axtens, 20 Lewis Hancock, 21 Chris Noakes, 22 Mafi Kefu.
Referee: Mike Fraser