Planet Rugby

Preview: Auckland v Waikato

06th September 2012 08:04

Share:

Charles Piutau

Unchanged backs: Charles Piutau

Auckland head coach Wayne Pivac has made just two changes to his side for Saturday's ITM Cup clash with Waikato at Eden Park.

Lock Liaki Moli returns from injury to replace Andrew Van der Heijden who is nursing a sore shoulder, while Sean Polwart has overcome an ankle sprain to resume duties at openside flanker in place of Nepia Fox-Matamua.

For the fourth consecutive match, Auckland's young and exciting backline remains unchanged.

In the only change to the reserves bench, outside back Dave Thomas comes in for Lolagi Visinia.

Pivac said he was expecting a "huge turnaround in performance" from Waikato following their loss to Northland last week.

"I didn't think they played badly against Northland but certainly they'll be looking to improve in a number of areas," Pivac said.

"I think you'll find their forwards will be very hungry, aggressive and very challenging for us.

"Certainly we learnt from Canterbury that top teams coming off a loss respond and we'd like to think we're in that category, that we lifted our performance against Manawatu so we expect a big performance from Waikato."

The teams:

Auckland: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Ben Lam, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Hadleigh Parkes (c), 11 George Moala, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Sean Polwart, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Liaki Moli, 4 Sean Brookman, 3 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Pauliasi Manu. Replacements: 16 Nathan Vella, 17 Angus Ta'avao, 18 Nathan Hughes, 19 Joe Edwards, 20 Auvasa Faleali'i, 21 Simon Hickey, 22 Dave Thomas.

Waikato: tbc

Referee: Richard Kelly

  • ITM Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour vs Southland19:35
Friday , August 22
Waikato vs Canterbury18:05
Hawkes Bay vs Taranaki20:05
Saturday , August 23
Northland vs Wellington14:35
Counties Manukau vs Otago16:35
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs Auckland14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs Taranaki19:35
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs Northland19:35
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs Manawatu09:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
  • ITM Cup Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
Saturday , August 16
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Friday , August 15
Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki 9 - 9 Counties ManukauTaranaki vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
  • ITM Cup Table
Premiership 2014
ITM Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Canterbury15
2Tasman15
3Waikato15
4Taranaki12
5Counties Manukau12