Planet Rugby

Preview: Magpies v Steelers

30th August 2012 14:07

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tana umaga Counties Manukau

Umaga: New Steelers coach looking to make it two wins in a row

After two rounds, Hawke's Bay remain winless this season and will be desperate to get off the mark when they host Counties Manukau in Friday's ITM Cup crossover clash in Napier.

A poor first half was to blame in the Magpies' opening round defeat to Auckland, and then a second-half collapse to Wellington in Round Two cost them dearly.

After being promoted from the Championship division last year, a third loss on the trot will leave Hawke's Bay rooted at the bottom the Premiership table and a mountain to climb to avoid relegation.

Counties Manukau, meanwhile, got their campaign off to a winning start thanks to a convincing 30-9 win over Southland. The Steelers led for most of the match, outscoring the southerners four tries to none, showing a willingness to run the ball from all areas of the field.

The result currently sees Tana Umaga's troops top of the Championship standings, which is exactly where they want to be as they aim for promotion to the Premiership.

So with the Magpies desperate to avoid the chop, and the Steelers knocking on the Premiership's door - the outcome of this clash could prove vital at the business end of the tournament.

In team news, Umaga has made three changes to his Steelers side.

Captain DJ Forbes returns from injury to start in the number seven jersey. International hooker Mahonri Schwalger and lock Jimmy Tupou will start, with Daniel Adongo, Suliasi Taufalele and Mark Selwyn moving to the bench.

"Earning respect is important for us this season and with three games in seven days, this will be a true gauge of where we are at," said Umaga.

The teams:

Hawke's Bay: 15 Nick McLennan, 14 Tino Nemani, 13 Tua Saseve, 12 Andrew Horrell, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Daniel Waenga, 9 Chris Eaton, 8 Mike Coman (c), 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Adam Bradey, 5 Johan Schoonbee,4 Ross Kennedy,3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Adrian Barone.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Brendon Edmonds, 18 Kieran Coll, 19 Tivaini Fomai, 20 Isaac Paewai, 21 Ihaia West, 22 Gillies Kaka.

Counties Manukau: 15 Tim Nanai-Williams, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Sherwin Stowers, 10 Baden Kerr, 9 August Pulu, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 DJ Forbes (c), 6 Adam Cathcart, 5 Jimmy Tupou, 4 Ronald Raaymakers, 3 Matt Talaese, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Simon Lemalu.
Replacements: 16 Suliasi Taufalele, 17 Maka Tatafu, 18 Daniel Adongo, 19 Mark Selwyn, 20 David Bason, 21 Ray Laulala, 22 Tony Pulu.

Referee: Richard Kelly

  • ITM Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland vs Tasman19:35
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs Taranaki19:35
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau vs Canterbury19:35
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs North Harbour17:35
Manawatu vs Southland19:35
Sunday , September 21
Otago vs Waikato14:35
Wellington vs Tasman14:35
Wellington vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, September 24
North Harbour vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
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Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
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
Canterbury 46 - 12 WellingtonCanterbury vs Wellington Report
Thursday , September 11
Tasman 30 - 31 TaranakiTasman vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 10
Otago 23 - 40 Northland
Sunday , September 7
Manawatu 26 - 10 Counties ManukauManawatu vs Counties Manukau Report
Saturday , September 6
Auckland 31 - 30 WellingtonAuckland vs Wellington Report
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Premiership 2014
ITM Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Canterbury524
2Taranaki622
3Tasman517
4Auckland515
5Waikato615