Preview: ITM Cup, Sunday

Date published: August 27 2011

The relegated Stags must try and pick themselves up for their last match of the ITM Cup season against Bay of Plenty.

Southland must try and pick themselves up for their last match of the ITM Cup season against Bay of Plenty, knowing they won't be taking part in the Premiership next year.

Wellington's one-point (29-28) win over North Harbour means the Stags are the team relegated to the 'Championship' division.

Southland certainly didn't make it easy for themselves – five defeats in nine games meant they were always at risk of automatic relegation to next year's second tier.

So without a Ranfurly Shield, after losing their prized possession to Taranaki on Tuesday, Southland have very little to play for except trying to finish the season on a winning note.

Even that may end in disappointment for the southerners against a Bay of Plenty outfit that could still be pushing for a place in the Premiership final come kick-off on Sunday.

The fourth-placed Steamers will need a victory and a few other results to go their way before celebrating a place in the final. and no doubt will be cheering on Otago, Auckland and Hawke's Bay this weekend.

The teams:

Southland: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Kade Poki, 13 Kendrick Lynn, 12 Cardiff Vaega, 11 Tim Cornforth, 10 James Wilson, 9 Scott Cowan, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 Tom Chamberlain, 6 John Hardie, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Nick Barrett, 2 Brayden Mitchell, 1 Jamie Mackintosh (c).
Replacements: 16 Jason Rutledge, 17 Chris King, 18 Ben Nally, 19 Tim Boys, 20 Sonny Rangitohereri/Scott Eade, 21 Tony Koonwaiyou, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Michael Peterson.

Bay of Plenty: 15 Toby Arnold, 14 Ben W Smith, 13 Phil Burleigh,12 Jason Hona, 11 Lance MacDonald, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Josh Hall, 8 Colin Bourke (c), 7 Luke Braid, 6 Tanerau Latimer,5 Culum Retallick, 4 Leon Power, 3 Josh Hohneck,2 Daniel Perrin, 1 Bronson Murray.
Replacements: 16 John Pareanga, 17 Tristan Moran, 18 Luke Andrews, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Lewis Hancock, 21 Daniel Waenga, 22 Nick McCashin, 23 Pingi Tala'apitaga.

Taranaki v Hawke's Bay

Taranaki will be out to defend the Ranfurly Shield for the summer just four days after winning it off Southland when they host Hawke's Bay on Sunday.

Should they lose, the Amber and Blacks will set a new record for the shortest tenure in the Log o'Wood's 107-year history.

Taranaki have two goals: retaining the Shield and chasing five points to give themselves a chance of making the ITM Cup final.

For third-placed Taranaki, a loss by either Canterbury or Waikato, coupled with them winning, would be enough. They could still make it if Waikato beat Auckland without scoring four tries while picking up a win and a bonus point against Hawke's Bay.

The teams:
Taranaki: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Jackson Ormond, 13 Willie Rickards, 12 Jayden Hayward, 11 Frazier Climo, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Tyson Keats, 8 Ben Souness, 7 Jarrad Hoeata, 6 Scott Waldrom, 5 Craig Clarke (c), 4 James Broadhurst, 3 Shane Cleaver, 2 Laurence Corlett, 1 Michael Bent.
Replacements: 16 Timo Tutavaha, 17 Carl Carmichael, 18 James Broadhurst, 19 Samuela Vunisa, 20 Brett Goodin, 21 Jack Cameron, 22 Frazier Climo, 23 Willie Ioane.

Hawke's Bay: 15 Mark Jackman, 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Tu Umaga-Marshall, 12 Gillies Kaka, 11 Andrew Horrell, 10 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 9 Chris Eaton, 8 Karl Lowe; 7 Adam Bradey, 6 Bryn Evans (c), 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Trent Boswell-Wakefield; 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hikairo Forbes, 1 Kas Lealamanua.
Replacements: 16 Danny Logan, 17 Brendon Edmonds, 18 Jodi Allen, 19 Maselino Paulino, 20 Hugh Reed, 21 Isaac Paewai, 22 Tua Saseve, 23 Tino Nemani.