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
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FixtureDetails
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ITM Cup
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Preview
Bay Of Plenty vs TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs Taranaki19:35
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs Northland19:35
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs Manawatu09:35
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay04:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato09:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
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Saturday , August 23
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
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Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
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Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
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Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
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PosTeamPPts
1Canterbury210
2Counties Manukau27
3Tasman15
4Waikato25
5Taranaki23