Bay must blunt the Butcher Boys’ attack or we’ll be . . .

Mincemeat.

Mincemeat.

BIG JOB AHEAD: Poverty Bay No.8 Ken Houkamau (with ball) has an important role to play if the Bay are to upset Wanganui in a Heartland Championship match here tomorrow. Wanganui, whose mascot is Barrie the Butcher (see the next picture in this gallery) have not lost to Poverty Bay since the inception of the Heartland Championship in 2006. Pictures by Paul Rickard
Mascot - Barrie the Butcher.

Get physical or get carved up by Wanganui . . . it’s as simple as that as Poverty Bay prepare to take on “the Butcher Boys” in week three of the Heartland Championship at Rugby Park tomorrow.

History is on the visitors’ side. They have never lost to the Bay since the competition started in 2006.

Records show that apart from the odd occasion, including last year’s 25-14 loss at Wanganui, the Bay have been on the receiving end of some hidings.

It’s not that the Bay can’t score against one of the powerhouse teams in the championship — Wanganui have won six Meads Cup (top four) titles and are going for four in a row. The problem is at the other end of the field.

That’s why the Bay must cut down the Wanganui attackers before they get up a full head of steam.

Senior players Tamanui Hill (captain/hooker), Campbell Chrisp (prop), Andrew Petelo (prop) and Ken Houkamau (No.8) must lead from the front.

Wanganui have shown in the past that if they are allowed to run they can slice through even the best of defences.

“It goes without saying Wanganui have set the benchmark for the Heartland teams, particularly in recent seasons, and we are under no illusions about what’s ahead of us,” said Bay coach Mana Otai, who has lost the services of fullback Ethine Reeves.

“Ethine has pulled out of the squad for personal reasons to do with work commitments.

“It’s a big loss. As well as being a skilful player he’s also one of our most experienced players. But, there’s nothing we can do about that other than it being an opportunity for someone to step up.

“Matt Raleigh will play fullback and he has been putting his hand up with good performances off the bench. Matt is technically a good footballer, who has been used mostly in midfield, but we believe fullback is his best position.”

Halfback Willy Grogan gets his first start in this season’s championship, with Mario Counsell his cover on the bench.

“We’re expecting the conditions to be wet and Willy offers us a different style to Mario,” Otai said.

With first-choice first five-eighth Kelvin Smith also unavailable after missing last week’s loss, right winger Andrew Tauatevalu gets another run in the No.10 jersey.

“Andrew played first five for the Hurricanes under-18 team and has got exceptional skills,” said Otai. “This will be a big test for him.

“We have also brought in a player from Hawke’s Bay, Willie McGoon, who will take Andrew’s place on the wing.”

Wanganui go into the game on the back of a 33-21 away win against West Coast and are second on the table with nine points from their two wins, one point behind King Country.

Wanganui scored five tries and picked up a bonus point last week despite not having two of their star players — skipper and blindside flanker Campbell Hart and No.8 Tremaine Gilbert.

Both are back in the starting line-up for tomorrow and along with Angus Middleton, who replaced Gilbert last week but will wear the No.7 jersey tomorrow, their loose trio is among the best in the competition.

Thrown in halfback Lindsay Horrocks, first five-eighth Dane Whale, midfield backs Penijamini Nabainivalu and Kaveni Dabenaise and fullback Craig Clare, and it’s not hard to see why Wanganui will start as favourites.

The NZ TAB has Wanganui at $1.04 for the win and Poverty Bay at $8.

History is on Wanganui’s side but another way of looking at it is this is a chance for the Bay to create their own history.

They held South Canterbury to 19-11 with five minutes to go before going down 40-11 last weekend.

“It shows that we have the ability but we have to stay switched on for 80 minutes,” said Otai.

POVERTY BAY (1-15) Campbell Chrisp, Tamanui Hill, Andrew Petelo, Micaiah Torrance-Reid, Jacob Cook, Fawn White, Callum McDonald, Ken Houkamau, Willy Grogan, Andrew Tauatevalu, Te Peehi Fairlie, Mape Tuipulotu, Jesse Fleming, Willie McGoon, Matt Raleigh.

Reserves: Shayde Skudder, Toru Noanoa, Sam McDell, Jesse Kapene, Mario Counsell, Anthony Karauria, Kory Love.

Get physical or get carved up by Wanganui . . . it’s as simple as that as Poverty Bay prepare to take on “the Butcher Boys” in week three of the Heartland Championship at Rugby Park tomorrow.

History is on the visitors’ side. They have never lost to the Bay since the competition started in 2006.

Records show that apart from the odd occasion, including last year’s 25-14 loss at Wanganui, the Bay have been on the receiving end of some hidings.

It’s not that the Bay can’t score against one of the powerhouse teams in the championship — Wanganui have won six Meads Cup (top four) titles and are going for four in a row. The problem is at the other end of the field.

That’s why the Bay must cut down the Wanganui attackers before they get up a full head of steam.

Senior players Tamanui Hill (captain/hooker), Campbell Chrisp (prop), Andrew Petelo (prop) and Ken Houkamau (No.8) must lead from the front.

Wanganui have shown in the past that if they are allowed to run they can slice through even the best of defences.

“It goes without saying Wanganui have set the benchmark for the Heartland teams, particularly in recent seasons, and we are under no illusions about what’s ahead of us,” said Bay coach Mana Otai, who has lost the services of fullback Ethine Reeves.

“Ethine has pulled out of the squad for personal reasons to do with work commitments.

“It’s a big loss. As well as being a skilful player he’s also one of our most experienced players. But, there’s nothing we can do about that other than it being an opportunity for someone to step up.

“Matt Raleigh will play fullback and he has been putting his hand up with good performances off the bench. Matt is technically a good footballer, who has been used mostly in midfield, but we believe fullback is his best position.”

Halfback Willy Grogan gets his first start in this season’s championship, with Mario Counsell his cover on the bench.

“We’re expecting the conditions to be wet and Willy offers us a different style to Mario,” Otai said.

With first-choice first five-eighth Kelvin Smith also unavailable after missing last week’s loss, right winger Andrew Tauatevalu gets another run in the No.10 jersey.

“Andrew played first five for the Hurricanes under-18 team and has got exceptional skills,” said Otai. “This will be a big test for him.

“We have also brought in a player from Hawke’s Bay, Willie McGoon, who will take Andrew’s place on the wing.”

Wanganui go into the game on the back of a 33-21 away win against West Coast and are second on the table with nine points from their two wins, one point behind King Country.

Wanganui scored five tries and picked up a bonus point last week despite not having two of their star players — skipper and blindside flanker Campbell Hart and No.8 Tremaine Gilbert.

Both are back in the starting line-up for tomorrow and along with Angus Middleton, who replaced Gilbert last week but will wear the No.7 jersey tomorrow, their loose trio is among the best in the competition.

Thrown in halfback Lindsay Horrocks, first five-eighth Dane Whale, midfield backs Penijamini Nabainivalu and Kaveni Dabenaise and fullback Craig Clare, and it’s not hard to see why Wanganui will start as favourites.

The NZ TAB has Wanganui at $1.04 for the win and Poverty Bay at $8.

History is on Wanganui’s side but another way of looking at it is this is a chance for the Bay to create their own history.

They held South Canterbury to 19-11 with five minutes to go before going down 40-11 last weekend.

“It shows that we have the ability but we have to stay switched on for 80 minutes,” said Otai.

POVERTY BAY (1-15) Campbell Chrisp, Tamanui Hill, Andrew Petelo, Micaiah Torrance-Reid, Jacob Cook, Fawn White, Callum McDonald, Ken Houkamau, Willy Grogan, Andrew Tauatevalu, Te Peehi Fairlie, Mape Tuipulotu, Jesse Fleming, Willie McGoon, Matt Raleigh.

Reserves: Shayde Skudder, Toru Noanoa, Sam McDell, Jesse Kapene, Mario Counsell, Anthony Karauria, Kory Love.

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