Planet Rugby

Preview: Hawke's Bay v Auckland

22nd August 2012 14:06

Share:

Daniel Braid

Daniel Braid: Leads Auckland

Hawke's Bay and Auckland kick-off the 2012 ITM Cup at McLean Park in Napier, where both teams will look to open their campaign with a win.

The hosts face a tricky against opening fixture in their first game in the Premiership after winning promotion from the Championship at the end of last season.

Hawke's Bay have proved to be a tough nut to crack at home in the past, but now under a new coach and with 15 players missing from their 2011 squad, Auckland will feel they have a chance at claiming an opening win to boost their confidence for the season ahead.

With the Aucks up against defending champions Canterbury on Wednesday, the visitors will be under no illussions that a winning start away from is crucial.

"If we can get through those first two weeks it will set us up really well. If we don't then we're going to be chasing the pack so it's very important that we get a good start," said Auckland coach Wayne Pivac.

Auckland are undefeated in the pre-season heading into this tournament opener, while the Magpies beat Manawatu and lost to Bay of Plenty.

The last time these two teams met, the played to a 34-34 draw in Auckland (in 2010).

Prediction: The Magpies will have plenty to prove that they belong in the Premiership, but we think Auckland will rain on their hosts' parade with a close win first up. Auckland by four!

The teams:

Hawke's Bay: 15 Gillies Kaka, 14 Tino Nemani, 13 Star Timu, 12 Andrew Horrell, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Daniel Waenga, 9 Chris Eaton, 8 Mike Coman (capt), 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Trent Boswell-Wakefield, 5 Maselino Paulino , 4 Ross Kennedy, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Brendon Edmonds
Replacements: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Peter Borlase, 18 Kieran Coll, 19 Tivaini Fomai, 20 Isaac Paewai, 21 Tua Saseve, 22 Nick McLennan.

Auckland:15 Charles Piutau, 14 Ben Lam, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Hadleigh Parkes , 11 George Moala, 10 Gareth Anscombe 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Andrew Van der Heijden, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Charlie Faumuina / Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Vella, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi/ Angus Ta'avao, 18 Nathan Hughes, 19 Sean Polwart, 20 Auvasa Faleali'i, 21 Tony Fenner, 22 Dave Thomas.

Date: Thursday, August 23
Venue: McLean Park, Napier
Kick-off: 19.35

  • ITM Cup Fixtures
  • ITM Cup Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki 36 - 32 Tasman
Saturday , October 18
Manawatu 23 - 18 Southland
Taranaki 49 - 30 Auckland
Tasman 26 - 6 Canterbury
Friday , October 17
Hawkes Bay 26 - 21 Northland
Sunday , October 12
Taranaki 23 - 26 Canterbury
Tasman 16 - 21 Counties Manukau
Saturday , October 11
Wellington 58 - 34 North Harbour
Hawkes Bay 20 - 20 Southland
Auckland 38 - 10 Northland
More ITM Cup results
  • ITM Cup Table
Premiership 2014
ITM Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Taranaki1038
2Tasman1038
3Canterbury1034
4Auckland1030
5Counties Manukau1028