Planet Rugby

Preview: Manawatu v Auckland

22nd August 2014 13:07

Share:

Ben Lam Auckland ITM Cup 2012

Ben Lam: Starts on the wing for Auckland

Auckland coach Paul Feeney has made one injury-enforced change for Sunday's clash with Manawatu in Palmerston North.

Speedster Lolagi Visinia was injured in last weekend's loss to Canterbury and will be replaced by Ben Lam in a slightly re-jigged backline.

"In our backline we've a lot of players that can play a lot of positions, so this week Hadleigh returns to second five, Francis at centre and George pushes out to the wing. For us it's about getting the right mix," said Feeney.

The coaches resisted the urge to make wholesale changes after suffering a big loss at the hands of Canterbury on Saturday.

"We've decided to have faith in this team," added Feeney.

"It could have gone one of two ways, make a few changes after a poor performance or have faith and give everyone a second chance and get on with it."

An improved performance this weekend will require better accuracy.

"We have pinpointed things that went wrong and have worked on rectifying those," explained Feeney.

"We will have to be more accurate and play more up-tempo because we looked a bit lethargic at times."

When Auckland travelled to Manawatu last season they recorded a narrow 21-18 victory, Feeney said he expects another tough assignment this year.

"They'll be buoyant after beating Northland so we're expecting a strong showing," he said.

"If you take Manawatu lightly it's at your own peril."

More to follow...

The teams:

Manawatu: tbc

Auckland: 15 Charles Pitau, 14 Ben Lam, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 George Moala, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Junior Poluleuligaga, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Sean Polwart, 6 Joe Edwards, 5 Jack Whetton, 4 Liaki Moli,3 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Sam Prattley.
Replacements: 16 Gafatasi Su'a, 17 Nick Barrett, 18 William Lloyd, 19 Blake Gibson, 20 Wayne Ngaluafe, 21 Vince Aso, 22 Simon Hickey.

Date: Sunday, August 24
Kick-off: 14:35 local (03:35 BST, 02:35 GMT)
Venue: FMG Stadium, Palmerston North
Referee: Mike Fraser

  • ITM Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Sunday , September 21
Otago vs WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Preview
Wellington vs TasmanWellington vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, September 24
North Harbour vs Canterbury19:35
Thursday , September 25
Bay Of Plenty vs Northland19:35
Friday , September 26
Taranaki vs Auckland19:35
Saturday , September 27
Waikato vs Manawatu14:35
Counties Manukau vs Wellington17:35
North Harbour vs Hawkes Bay19:35
Sunday , September 28
Tasman vs Otago14:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
  • ITM Cup Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Saturday , September 20
Auckland 32 - 7 North Harbour
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau 20 - 28 CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Report
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
Sunday , September 14
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
Saturday , September 13
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
Friday , September 12
North Harbour 24 - 13 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
  • ITM Cup Table
Premiership 2014
ITM Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Canterbury628
2Taranaki727
3Tasman622
4Auckland620
5Waikato615