Planet Rugby

Preview: Northland v Taranaki

21st September 2012 10:04

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scott waldrom

Promoted: Scott Waldrom

Taranaki coach Colin Cooper has made a whopping nine changes to his team for Saturday's ITM Cup hit-out against Northland in Whangarei.

Cooper has axed several players following Wednesday's 43-32 defeat to Auckland - the Amber and Blacks' first defeat of the season - whilst some are injury-enforced.

A revamped Taranaki forwards pack featuring five changes will run out against the Taniwha, who are chasing a hat-trick of wins after knocking over North Harbour and Tasman in their previous two outings.

Loose forward Blade Thomson is replaced by fit-again Kane Barrett while Jarrad Hoeata switches from the blindside to number eight. Scott Waldrom comes in on the openside at the expense of Chris Walker.

The other changes in the pack are at lock with James Broadhurst getting the nod ahead of Jason Eaton, Michael Bent back at tighthead and Carl Carmichael coming into the mix at loosehead to ease Chris King's workload.

In the backs, Chris Smylie and James Marshall are reunited at halfback and Willie Rickards makes a return at outside centre - all three played in last Saturday's Ranfurly Shield defence against Canterbury.

Isaia Tuifua and Seta Tamanivalu have been bracketed on the bench as full-back Kurt Baker tries to overcome a knock to the knee.

Taranaki currently share the lead in the Premiership with Wellington and Auckland (all on 19 points), while Northland sit fourth on thh Division table. A win for the visitors will give them the overall lead in their group, and Northland will jump to second should they take the spoils.

The teams:

Nortland: tbc

Taranaki: 15 Kurt Baker, 14 Jackson Ormond, 13 Willie Rickards, 12 Jayden Hayward, 11 Frazier Climo, 10 James Marshall, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Jarrad Hoeata, 7 Scott Waldrom, 6 Kane Barrett, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Craig Clarke (c), 3 Michael Bent, 2 Timo Tutavaha, 1 Carl Carmichael.
Replacements: 16 Sione Lea, 17 Chris King, 18 Jason Eaton, 19 Blade Thomson, 20 Jamison Gibson-Park, 21 Jack Cameron, 22 Isaia Tuifua/Seta Tamanivalu.

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Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay vs WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Preview
Thursday , October 2
Auckland vs Waikato19:35
Friday , October 3
Northland vs North Harbour19:35
Saturday , October 4
Southland vs Counties Manukau14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs Otago17:35
Canterbury vs Tasman19:35
Sunday , October 5
Manawatu vs Hawkes Bay14:35
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Counties Manukau vs Auckland19:35
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Waikato vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
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Otago vs Manawatu19:35
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Sunday , September 28
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
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Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Friday , September 26
Taranaki 35 - 22 AucklandTaranaki vs Auckland Report
Thursday , September 25
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 30 Northland
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North Harbour 29 - 24 CanterburyNorth Harbour vs Canterbury Report
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Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
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PosTeamPPts
1Taranaki832
2Tasman832
3Canterbury830
4Auckland720
5Waikato816