Planet Rugby

Preview: Waikato v Northland

31st August 2012 13:58

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Tawera Kerr Barlow

Waikato: Chasing back-to-back wins

Waikato coach Chris Gibbes has named an unchanged matchday 22 for Saturday's ITM Cup hit-out against Northland at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton.

Last year's finalists opened their 2012 campaign with a six-try win over North Harbour, and will be looking to make it back-to-back wins in their first home game of the season.

However, their second Championship opponents in as many games could give the Mooloos a harder time after running Otago close - losing 34-46.

Northland made a number of changes, mainly in the loose forwards and outside backs - both of which were areas where Otago had an advantage for most of the match.

"I think what's important for us is that we've got to get our game going and we've got to keep building on what we've done," said Gibbes.

"This 22 will give us that continuity and then, obviously, we've got a short week coming up after Auckland so we've got a couple of weeks to get a few things right before that."

Waikato: 15 Trent Renata, 14 Tim Mikkelson, 13 Save Tokula, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Declan O'Donnell, 10 Sam Christie, 9 Tawera Kerr- Barlow, 8 Alex Bradley (c), 7 Zak Hohneck, 6 Matt Vant Leven, 5 Romana Graham, 4 Chris Middleton, 3 Ben May, 2 Marcel Cummings- Toone, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Kalem Chan Boon, 17 Ted Tauroa, 18 Sam Kilgour, 19 Jono Armstrong, 20 Brendon Leonard, 21 Piers Francis, 22 Glen Robertson.

Northland: 15 Fa'atoina Autagavaia, 14 Dan Caprice, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Mateo Malupo, 10 Ash Moeke, 9 Samisoni Fisilau, 8 Hale T-Pole, 7 Dan Pryor, 6 Dan Faleafa, 5 Bryce Williams (c),4 Jack Whetton, 3 Scott Vessey, 2 David Hall, 1 Matt Wallis.
Replacements: 16 Tone Kopelani, 17 Justin Davies, 18 William Whetton, 19 Jack Ram, 20 Rhyan Caine, 21 Orene Ai'i, 22 Tau Fa'asisila.

Referee: Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri

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ITM Cup
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Preview
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Preview
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato19:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
Friday , September 5
Tasman vs Waikato18:05
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Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
Saturday , August 23
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
Friday , August 22
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
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PosTeamPPts
1Canterbury210
2Tasman210
3Taranaki38
4Counties Manukau27
5Auckland25