They have a point to prove.
The Mana Otai-coached Poverty Bay lost 78-0 to Taranaki in the Ranfurly Shield Challenge last Saturday but tomorrow’s 2.30pm clash with Horowhenua-Kapiti in Napier is a different proposition.
Tremain Field, in the Napier suburb of Pirimai, is a firmer track than Shield venue Tikorangi Domain. Showers are expected.
One of Otai’s priorities this season is strengthening and tightening up the Bay’s play at set-piece.
“This game is about getting combinations together, bringing new players into the mix and seeing how well they adapt under pressure,” said Otai.
“It starts at kick-off, kick reception, up front, so that’s where we’ve recruited.”
The Bay will again be led by Tamanui Hill – a tough, powerful forward.
Hill, the experienced Campbell Chrisp (40 caps) and six-foot-five-inch player of origin Micaiah Torrance-Read, who played for Taranaki Last year, need to be prominent if the Bay are to earn their first win over Horowhenua-Kapiti since 2012 (31-15 in Levin).
Hill is on the same wavelength as his coach.
“I want our boys to play well and get some good connections going,” said Hill.
Several key players from premier club finalists YMP and Waikohu are being rested, Waikohu’s Ken Houkamau and Ethine Reeves among them.
Andrew Tauatevalu will get the chance to show his silky skills in the number 10 jersey, a significant shift from his usual winger’s spot.
Blindside flanker Aaron Lahmert will lead the ‘Nua in his 37th appearance for that union, with 78-game veteran lock Ryan Shelford on the bench. Both are quality players.
The last game between the sides was a 39-5 win to Horowhenua-Kapiti on September 2 at Gisborne in last year’s Heartland Championship.
Poverty Bay have a record of five wins, three losses and one draw against Horowhenua-Kapiti since the inception of the Heartland Championship.
Poverty Bay has a 5 win, three and one draw v Horowhenua-Kapiti since the inception of the Heartland Championship: the Bay’s last win in the fixture was 31 -15 at Levin Domain in 2012.
The referee is 28 year-old lawyer, Sam Fellows (Bay of Plenty), with Hugh Reed (Hawke’s Bay) as assistant referee No. 7 while Stuart Catley (HB) is AR2.
POVERTY BAY, 1-24: Campbell Chrisp, Tamanui Hill (captain), Andrew Petelo, Micaiah Torrance-Read, Jacob Cook, Kurt Taylor, Fawn White, Jesse Kapene, Willy Grogan, Andrew Tauatevalu, Korey Love, Anthony Karauria, Oka Sanerivi, Tom losefo, Cameron Rowden.
Reserves: Shayde Skudder, Rikki Terekia, Semisi Akana, Sam McDell, Callum MacDonald, Hamuera Baker, Mapa Tu’ipulotu, Matthew Raleigh, Kelvin Smith.
HOROWHENUA-KAPITI, 1-21: Tiwana Paringatai, David McErlean, Scott Cameron, Joel Winterburn, Manaaseh Wineera, Aaron Lahmert (c), Moses Pearce, Tom Zimmerman, Tainui Brown, Ethan Reti, Connor Paki, Stewart MacGregor, Timoci Serawalu, Dylan Taylor, Willie Paia’aua.
Reserves: Dean Ropata, Chase Makamaka, Ryan Shelford, Kane Tamou, Kaden van Gaalen, Kalim Kelemete.
RUGBY by Ben O’Brien-Leaf www.gisborneherald.co.nz
Published: August 3, 2018 3:29PM