Planet Rugby

Preview: Northland v Taranaki

21st September 2012 10:04


scott waldrom

Promoted: Scott Waldrom

Taranaki coach Colin Cooper has made a whopping nine changes to his team for Saturday's ITM Cup hit-out against Northland in Whangarei.

Cooper has axed several players following Wednesday's 43-32 defeat to Auckland - the Amber and Blacks' first defeat of the season - whilst some are injury-enforced.

A revamped Taranaki forwards pack featuring five changes will run out against the Taniwha, who are chasing a hat-trick of wins after knocking over North Harbour and Tasman in their previous two outings.

Loose forward Blade Thomson is replaced by fit-again Kane Barrett while Jarrad Hoeata switches from the blindside to number eight. Scott Waldrom comes in on the openside at the expense of Chris Walker.

The other changes in the pack are at lock with James Broadhurst getting the nod ahead of Jason Eaton, Michael Bent back at tighthead and Carl Carmichael coming into the mix at loosehead to ease Chris King's workload.

In the backs, Chris Smylie and James Marshall are reunited at halfback and Willie Rickards makes a return at outside centre - all three played in last Saturday's Ranfurly Shield defence against Canterbury.

Isaia Tuifua and Seta Tamanivalu have been bracketed on the bench as full-back Kurt Baker tries to overcome a knock to the knee.

Taranaki currently share the lead in the Premiership with Wellington and Auckland (all on 19 points), while Northland sit fourth on thh Division table. A win for the visitors will give them the overall lead in their group, and Northland will jump to second should they take the spoils.

The teams:

Nortland: tbc

Taranaki: 15 Kurt Baker, 14 Jackson Ormond, 13 Willie Rickards, 12 Jayden Hayward, 11 Frazier Climo, 10 James Marshall, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Jarrad Hoeata, 7 Scott Waldrom, 6 Kane Barrett, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Craig Clarke (c), 3 Michael Bent, 2 Timo Tutavaha, 1 Carl Carmichael.
Replacements: 16 Sione Lea, 17 Chris King, 18 Jason Eaton, 19 Blade Thomson, 20 Jamison Gibson-Park, 21 Jack Cameron, 22 Isaia Tuifua/Seta Tamanivalu.

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Forthcoming Fixtures
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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
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Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
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North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
Friday , August 29
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
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
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