Planet Rugby

Preview: Taranaki v Tasman

31st August 2012 09:23

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taranaki ranfurly shield

Up for grabs: The Ranfurly Shield

Taranaki will be on high alert when Tasman visit Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth for Saturday's Ranfurly Shield clash.

The hosts opened their ITM Cup campaign with a 37-22 win over Bay of Plenty, but the visiting Makos who won't be short of confidence either after knocking over four-times defending champions Canterbury last Friday.

Tasman had to leave it until the last minute to beat the Cantabs 25-22, but few will argue that the better team won and showed this year's team has significantly more to offer than the tired, underpowered 2011 version which finished dead last in the Championships division.

The Amber and Blacks know they'll need to put in an 80-minute performance to keep hold of the famous Log o' Wood.

Providing Taranaki can see off Tasman, they will then face challenges from Hawke's Bay and Canterbury in successive weeks, a tough ask for any side in this competition.

In team news, Taranaki coach Colin Cooper has made six changes to his side.

All Blacks hooker Andrew Hore is a welcome addition to the Taranaki bench, with Laurence Corlett set to start at hooker after recovering from injury.

Other changes from the side that beat Bay of Plenty sees scrum-half Brett Goodin and wing Jackson Ormond promoted to the run-on XV.

Kurt Baker moves from centre to full-back, taking the place of Andre Taylor who picked up a hand injury against the Steamers. The other inclusion is Willie Rickards at centre, making his first start of the year.

Prediction: History is with the Amber and Blacks, with the Makos having beaten them just once in seven attempts dating back to 2006. Taranaki by eight!

The teams:

Taranaki: 15 Kurt Baker, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Willie Rickards, 12 Jayden Hayward, 11 Frazier Climo, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Chris Walker, 6 Jarrad Hoeata, 5 Jason Eaton (c), 4 James Broadhurst, 3 Michael Bent, 2 Laurence Corlett, 1 Chris King.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 Carl Carmichael, 18 Kane Barrett, 19 Scott Waldrom, 20 Brett Goodin, 21 James Marshall, 22 Jackson Ormond.

Tasman: 15 Robbie Malneek, 14 Peter Betham, 13 Bryce Heem, 12 Andrew Goodman (c), 11 James Lowe, 10 Hayden Cripps, 9 Jeremy Su'a, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Shane Christie, 6 Joe Wheeler, 5 Tevita Cavubati, 4 Filipo Levi, 3 Campbell Johnstone, 2 Quentin MacDonald, 1 Sam Prattley.
Replacements: 16 Francis Smith, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Vernon Fredricks, 19 Tevita Kolomatangi, 20 Steve Alfeld, 21 Kieron Fonotia, 22 George Millar.

Referee: Vinny Munro

  • ITM Cup Fixtures
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FixtureDetails
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ITM Cup
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Sunday , September 21
Otago vs WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Preview
Wellington vs TasmanWellington vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, September 24
North Harbour vs Canterbury19:35
Thursday , September 25
Bay Of Plenty vs Northland19:35
Friday , September 26
Taranaki vs Auckland19:35
Saturday , September 27
Waikato vs Manawatu14:35
Counties Manukau vs Wellington17:35
North Harbour vs Hawkes Bay19:35
Sunday , September 28
Tasman vs Otago14:35
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ITM Cup
Saturday , September 20
Auckland 32 - 7 North Harbour
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau 20 - 28 CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Report
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
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
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PosTeamPPts
1Canterbury628
2Taranaki727
3Tasman622
4Auckland620
5Waikato615