Planet Rugby

Preview: Hawke's Bay v Wellington

04th August 2011 13:22


Alapati Leiua; Kahn Fotualii wellington v hawkes bay

Magpies v Lions: Both sides will be angry about their recent outings

Wellington will be out to put their 32-0 drubbing to Bay of Plenty behind them when they make the trip to Napier's McLean Park for Friday's crossover match against Hawke's Bay.

The Lions play their second Hurricanes franchise partner team of the season (the other was Taranaki - which Wellington won 23-5), with both teams looking to bounce back from humiliating defeats.

As well as Wellington getting blown away by the Steamers, the Magpies were upstaged at home by previously winless Tasman 21-19 on Tuesday.

This leaves the Lions four points adrift of second-placed Taranaki on the Premiership ladder and Hawke's Bay two points behind new Championship leader Manawatu after four completed rounds of the 2011 competition.

Despite a three-day turnaround since their last match against Tasman, the Magpies will be fired up for this traditional match against Wellington. With a set of big, physical forwards they will bring a direct and confrontational style to this contest.

The Lions will be eager to quickly recapture the form that saw them run out convincing winners over Canterbury in Round 3, which - after their dire performance against BoP - seems like ages ago.

It's no surprise then that Wellington go into this must-win fixture with several changes to the playing 22 from that which suffered at the hands of Bay of Plenty on Sunday.

In the starting XV, Neemia Tialata replaces Whetu Henry, Michael Hobbs moves in one place to fly-half to make way for Shaun Treeby - his first appearance for his province this season after being side-lined with a knee injury in Super Rugby - and scrum-half Frae Wilson trades places off the bench with TJ Perenara.

That means there's no place for axed Lima Sopoaga who drops out of the matchday 22 altogether.

The last time these two teams met, the Lions beat Hawke's Bay 17-13 at Westpac Stadium. In two games played at McLean Park, the Magpies prevailed 8-6 in 2007 and the Lions finished on top 21-13 in 2009.

The teams:

Hawke's Bay: 15 Mark Jackman, 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Tua Saseve, 12 Andrew Horrell, 11 Gillies Kaka, 10 Kahn Fotuali'i, 9 Isaac Paewai, 8 Karl Lowe, 7 Adam Bradey, 6 Trent Boswell-Wakefield, 5 Bryn Evans, 4 Kane Thompson/Brodie Retallick, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Hikawera Elliot (c), 1 Sona Taumalolo.
Replacements: 16 Danny Logan, 17 Hikairo Forbes, 18 Ashton Johnson, 19 Hugh Reed, 20 Brad Weber, 21 Ryan McLeod, 22 Sinoti Sinoti/Tino Nemani, 23 Ben Tameifuna.

Wellington: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Lote Raikabula, 13 Alapati Leiua, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Michael Hobbs, 9 Frae Wilson, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 Mark Reddish, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Jacob Ellison.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Whetu Henry, 18 Brad Shields, 19 Dean Brunsdon, 20 TJ Perenara, 21 Lima Sopoaga, 22 Apoua Stewart, 23 Reggie Goodes.

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Saturday , October 25
Taranaki 36 - 32 Tasman
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Hawkes Bay 26 - 21 Northland
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Taranaki 23 - 26 Canterbury
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