Planet Rugby

Preview: Waikato v Tasman

26th September 2012 13:02



Waikato: Getting desperate

Waikato can ill-afford another ITM Cup loss when they face Tasman in Thursday's crossover clash at Waikato Stadium.

With only two wins from six outings, last year's finalists are sharing the bottom of the Premiership table with Hawke's Bay with points differential keeping them ahead of the Magpies.

Following two consecutive heavy losses to Wellington and Canterbury, the Mooloos are now in a battle for survival.

In a bid to keep their place in the ITM Cup top tier, they have to fight for their place with remaining matches against the Makos, Taranaki, Counties Manukau and Hawke's Bay.

"We are in a fight for survival now," said coach Chris Gibbes.

"But we've just got to keep looking at what's coming and we can't dwell on the past or what's just happened. We've got to learn from it and move on."

Meanwhile, on the other end of the scalem Tasman are still on course for a home semi-final in their Championship following three wins and three losses.

The teams:

Waikato: 15 Tim Mikkelson, 14 Declan O'Donnell, 13 Save Tokula, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Joe Webber, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Alex Bradley (c), 7 Zak Hohneck, 6 Rory Grice, 5 Sam Kilgour, 4 Chris Middleton, 3 Ben May, 2 Vance Elliott, 1 Latu Talakai. Replacements: 16 Kalem Chan Boon, 17 Ted Tauroa, 18 Anthony Wise, 19 Jono Armstrong, 20 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 21 Sam Christie, 22 Trent Renata.

Tasman: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Peter Betham, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Andrew Goodman (c), 11 Robbie Malneek, 10 Hayden Cripps, 9 Jeremy Su'a, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Shane Christie, 6 Tevita Koloamatangi, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Filipo Levi, 3 Campbell Johnstone, 2 Quentin MacDonald, 1 Tim Perry. Replacements: 16 Francis Smith, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Riki Hoeata, 19 Vernon Fredericks, 20 Gary Redmond, 21 Steve Alfeld, 22 Albert Nikoro.

Referee: Garratt Williamson (Wellington)

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