Planet Rugby

Preview: Otago v Bay of Plenty

17th August 2013 10:08

Share:

Fumiaki Tanaka

Threat: Fumiaki Tanaka

Beaten finalists last year against Counties, Otago kick off their 2013 ITM Cup campaign at home against Bay of Plenty on Sunday.

Without leading star Ben Smith, away on international duty with the All Blacks, Otago are still able to field a strong side.

Japanese international Fumiaki Tanaka will attract plenty of attention at scrum-half after an excellent season with the Highlanders. His English might remain a work in progress, but Tanaka is a dynamic weapon for the hosts.

In last year's ITM Cup, Tanaka flourished playing at half-back alongside the youthful Hayden Parker, with the duo reuniting once more.

Serious financial difficulties threatened to undermine Otago's future last season, but if anything the tough situation bonded the squad together more and set them on the path for greater things.

Bay of Plenty on the other hand come into the competition with Queensland Reds flanker Beau Robinson operating at openside flanker.

Two of their leading forwards are away with New Zealand in Brodie Retallick and Sam Cane. Their stalwart, Tanerau Latimer, is also unavailable.

Blending together three Australians, with Wallaby hooker Albert Anae on the bench, along with an Italian international in Josh Sole into the rest of the squad makes Bay of Plenty a slightly different proposition.

Pre-season for the Steamers has been all about the introduction of new players to ITM Cup rugby, and as a consequence their results have been far from spectacular.

That level of experience in the end seems likely to separate the two sides, especially in the backs, as both teams set out for a winning start in 2013.

The teams:

Otago: 15 Tony Ensor, 14 Keiran Moffat, 13 Michael Collins, 12 Peter Breen, 11 Buxton Popoali'i, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Paul Grant (c), 7 Lee Allan, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Tom Donnelly, 3 Scott Manson, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Craig Millar.
Replacements: 16 Sam Anderson-Heather, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Charlie O'Connell, 19 TJ Ioane, 20 Willis Scott, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Fa'asiu Fuatai.

Bay of Plenty: 15 Steve Honey, 14 Tino Nemani, 13 Kendrick Lynn, 12 Brett Mather, 11 Kimami Sitauti, 10 Willie Ripia, 9 Samisoni Fisilau, 8 Joe Tupe, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Carl Axtens, 5 Josh Sole, 4 Tim Bond, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Joe Royal, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements:16 Albert Anae, 17 Pingi Tala'apitaga, 18 Beau Williams, 19 Matt Clutterbuck, 20 Josh Hall, 21 Sam Beard, 22 Dave Thomas.

Date: Sunday 18, August
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 16:35 (04:35 GMT)
Referee: Mike Fraser

  • ITM Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Preview
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau vs Canterbury19:35
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs North Harbour17:35
Manawatu vs Southland19:35
Sunday , September 21
Otago vs Waikato14:35
Wellington vs Tasman14:35
Wellington vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, September 24
North Harbour vs Canterbury19:35
Thursday , September 25
Bay Of Plenty vs Northland19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
  • ITM Cup Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
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
Friday , September 12
North Harbour 24 - 13 Manawatu
Canterbury 46 - 12 WellingtonCanterbury vs Wellington Report
Thursday , September 11
Tasman 30 - 31 TaranakiTasman vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 10
Otago 23 - 40 Northland
Sunday , September 7
Manawatu 26 - 10 Counties ManukauManawatu vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
  • ITM Cup Table
Premiership 2014
ITM Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Canterbury524
2Taranaki622
3Tasman622
4Auckland515
5Waikato615