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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ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
Friday , September 5
Tasman vs Waikato18:05
Northland vs Hawkes Bay20:05
Saturday , September 6
Auckland vs Wellington14:35
Taranaki vs Southland06:35
Sunday , September 7
Manawatu vs Counties Manukau14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs North Harbour16:35
Wednesday, September 10
Otago vs Northland09:35
Thursday , September 11
Tasman vs Taranaki19:35
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Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
Friday , August 29
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
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Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
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Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
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PosTeamPPts
1Canterbury315
2Taranaki413
3Tasman312
4Waikato49
5Counties Manukau38