Planet Rugby

Preview: Tasman v Bay Of Plenty

03rd October 2012 12:05

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Bay of Plenty in a huddle

Bay of Plenty: All to play for

Only a win will do for Bay of Plenty when they visit Nelson's Trafalgar Park to take on Tasman in Thursday's ITM Cup crossover clash.

Despite their recent win over Northland, the sixth-placed Steamers (16 points) are still fighting for survival in the Premiership after Waikato leapfrogged them into fifth spot following their Ranfurly Shield victory on Wednesday.

Bay of Plenty now trail Waikato by three points and are two points ahead of last-placed Hawke's Bay in the scrap to avoid relegation.

A win against the Makos will see Kevin Schuler's men reclaim fifth position and put the pressure back on Waikato, who face Counties and then the Magpies in their last two games of the regular season.

Because the Steamers have played an extra game than Waikato and Hawke's Bay, Thursday's must-win clash with Tasman is their penultimate match in the competition before they face high-flying Canterbury on October 14.

And Schuler knows just how crucial victory is for his team.

"This is sort of our grand final and we have to nail this one to keep us where we want to be, don't we?" he said.

"We just have to play good rugby and we have gone down there and won before. We know they love to play a lot of rugby and will attack us for 80 minutes and sometimes that can work for them and sometimes it can be to their detriment.

"But it is more about us. We are at the end of our short three games turnaround so we have to make sure physically the boys are ready to go again.

The teams:

Tasman: tbc

Bay of Plenty: 15 Nick McCashin, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Kenny Lynn , 12 Mafi Kefu, 11 Lance Macdonald, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Lewis Hancock, 8 Carl Axtens, 7 Tanerau Latimer (c), 6 Jesse Acton, 5 Leon Power, 4 Dan Goodwin, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 John Pareanga, 1 Greg Pleasants-Tate.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Mike Kainga, 18 Keepa Mewett, 19 Matt Clutterbuck, 20 Jamie Nutbrown, 21 Simon Rolleston, 22 Jack Wilson.

Referee: Richard Kelly

  • ITM Cup Fixtures
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FixtureDetails
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ITM Cup
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
Canterbury vs Southland16:35
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Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
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
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PosTeamPPts
1Canterbury628
2Taranaki727
3Tasman622
4Auckland620
5Waikato615