Planet Rugby

Preview: Tasman v Canterbury

04th August 2011 12:01

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Mark Bright tasman v canterbury

Derby hit-out: Tasman face an uphill battle against their neighbours

Tasman face a tough ITM Cup crossover clash at Lansdowne Park in Blenheim on Friday, when they host three-time defending champions Canterbury.

The derby match sees last-placed Championship side Tasman tackle third-placed Premiership outfit Canterbury, with both teams seeking back-to-back wins.

Against all odds, the Makos recorded their first win of the season against Hawke's Bay in Napier two days ago but have had very little time to draw their breath before facing Canterbury.

Canterbury, meanwhile, have enjoyed a six-day break since their 42-15 win over Manawatu last Saturday.

"It would be a pretty special effort if we knocked them over with only a couple of days off in between games," Makos assistant coach Leon MacDonald told the Marlborough Express.

"As soon as the Hawke's Bay game was over, we sat down for a bit and the talk was about taking on Canterbury."

In team news, former All Blacks captain Reuben Thorne - who made his first-class debut 16 seasons ago - will lock in for Canterbury. The seasoned campaigner will start in a Canterbury jersey for the first time since 2007.

The former Crusaders skipper is one of three changes to the Canterbury starting line-up for the Makos match. Thorne takes over at lock from Joel Everson, Brendon O'Connor replaces in the injured Matt Todd on the openside flank and Mark Swanepoel comes in for Willi Heinz at nine.

Tasman have also made three changes to their starting line-up with Joe Wheeler joining Felipo Levi in the second row after passing a fitness test, Mark Bright returns to the side at number eight and Lucky Mulipola starts on the right wing.

The last time these two teams met, Tasman enjoyed a famous 27-25 victory over the men in red and black in Nelson.

The teams:

Tasman: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Lucky Mulipola, 13 Kieron Fonotia,12 Andrew Goodman (c), 11 Mitchell Scott, 10 James Marshall, 9 Shawn Begg, 8 Mark Bright, 7 Shane Christie, 6 Jonathon Poff, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Filipo Levi, 3 Sam Prattley, 2 Quentin MacDonald, 1 Fai Mika.
Replacements: 16 Francis Smith, 17 Craig Moore, 18 Pablo Heuete/Riki Hoeata, 19 Tevita Kolomatangi, 20 Steve Alfeld, 21 Jack Umaga, 22 Robbie Malneek, 23 Hamish Cochrane.

Canterbury: 15 Sean Maitland, 14 Telusa Veainu, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal, 9 Mark Swanepoel, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 George Whitelock (c), 5 Luke Romano, 4 Reuben Thorne, 3 Andrew Olorenshaw, 2 Steve Fualau, 1 Paea Fa'anunu.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Nepo Laulala, 18 Ash Parker, 19 Luke Whitelock, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Tom Taylor, 22 Johnny McNicholl, 23 Sam Cottam.

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