Preview: Waikato v Bay of Plenty

11th Sep 2012, 08:54

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Hurting: Waikato sit in fifth place

Hurting: Waikato sit in fifth place

Waikato will be desperate to avoid a hat-trick of ITM Cup defeats when they take on Bay of Plenty at Waikato Stadium on Tuesday.

Waikato will be desperate to avoid a hat-trick of ITM Cup defeats when they take on Bay of Plenty at Waikato Stadium on Tuesday.

Last year's finalists play their fourth game of the season and currently working their way through a tough eight-day period that includes three matches against Premiership teams.

First up are the Steamers, who were hammered 47-13 by Counties-Manukau last Friday. The visitors will be hurting as much as fifth-placed Waikato and with a similar one-win, two-loss record.

In teams news, Waikato coach Chris Gibbes has made six changes to his starting line-up.

There are two changes in the forward pack, including a forced captaincy change, and another four in the backline as the Waikato coaching staff look to keep their squad fresh during a busy period in their competition schedule.

Minor injuries to captain Alex Bradley, Romana Graham and Jackson Willison will keep them out of Tuesday's game. They are replaced in the starting side by Rory Grice, Sam Kilgour and Save Tokula.

Hooker Marcel Cummings-Toone will captain the side against his old province in Bradley's absence and uncapped Otorohanga lock Anthony Wise comes onto the reserves bench as lock cover.

Other changes include teenager Joe Webber who will make his Waikato debut on the left wing, Tawera Kerr-Barlow starting in place of Brendon Leonard, and Sam Christie getting a start at centre.

The teams:

Waikato: 15 Trent Renata, 14 Declan O'Donnell, 13 Save Tokula, 12 Sam Christie, 11 Joe Webber, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Rory Grice, 7 Zak Hohneck, 6 Matt Vant Leven, 5 Sam Kilgour, 4 Chris Middleton, 3 Ben May, 2 Marcel Cummings-Toone, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Vance Elliott, 17 Ted Tauroa, 18 Anthony wise, 19 Jono Armstrong, 20 Brendon Leonard, 21 Joe Perawiti, 22 Tim Mikkelson.

Bay of Plenty: 15 Kendrick Lynn, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Mafi Kefu, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Lance MacDonald, 10 Nick McCashin, 9 Josh Hall, 8 Carl Axtens, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Tanerau Latimer (c), 5 Leon Power, 4 Culum Retallick, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Daniel Perrin, 1 Tristan Moran.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris/John Pareanga, 17 Mike Kainga, 18 Dan Goodwin, 19 Jesse Acton, 20 Lewis Hancock, 21 Simon Rolleston, 22 Jack Wilson.