Men on a mission in Week 4 of Heartland Championship

Coast face South Canterbury, Bay tackle West Coast

Coast face South Canterbury, Bay tackle West Coast

Rugby PB v EC file picture

RUGBY

POVERTY Bay and Ngati Porou East Coast are both on the road, but facing different missions for week 4 of the Heartland Championship.

The Bay, after winning their opening game but losing the next two, are looking to rejuvenate their campaign with victory over West Coast in Greymouth.

The Coast, who have not won a Heartland game since 2013, have a “mission impossible” against South Canterbury in Timaru.

A win against a side two points above them would move Poverty Bay up the table and be a confidence boost ahead of the following week’s local derby at Ruatoria.

The Bay beat West Coast 36-19 here last year but West Coast go into tomorrow’s match on the back of a season-opening win over Thames Valley and impressive albeit losing performances against Mid Canterbury (36-29 ) joint competition leaders Wanganui (33-21), who beat the Bay 53-0 at Rugby Park last Saturday.

Bay coach Mana Otai has made three changes to the starting 15 from the Wanganui match.

First-choice first five-eighth Kelvin Smith, unavailable for the past two games, is back.

Smith had an outstanding season for Poverty Bay premier club competition winners Waikohu and played well in the Bay’s win against Wairarapa Bush.

His return means Andrew Tauatevalu, who wore the No.10 jersey in Smith’s absence, reverts to fullback, with Matt Raleigh dropping to the reserves.

Loosehead prop Toru Noanoa comes off the bench to replace Campbell Chrisp.

Lock Sam McDell also gets his first Heartland start at the expense of Jacob Cook.

Chrisp and Cook are in the reserves.

With back-up hooker Shayde Skudder unavailable, Semisi Akana, who has been injured, comes in as cover.

“Andrew (Tauatevalu) did well in his two games in the No.10 jersey and will grow in that position,” Otai said.

“But he’ll be more comfortable at the back where he can use his pace.”

Ngati Porou East Coast have conceded 147 points in three games but after a 75-17 loss to King Country and 46-8 defeat by Horowhenua Kapiti, the Sky Blues held Wairarapa Bush to 26-5 last week.

“That game was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests,” said co-coach Troy Para.

He and co-coach Wayne Ensor have been encouraged by the development of their side but are under no illusions about the challenge ahead of them.

“It’s definitely a huge task in front of us, considering the way South Canterbury are tracking,” Para said.

“A big setback for us is the unavailability of key players — Perrin Manuel, Hone Haerewa, Morrison Siliko, Rikki Kernohan and TK Moeke.

“That’s testing our squad strength, depth and numbers, however, it’s an opportunity for the incoming players to put a stake in the ground and show us what they have, and how much they want to retain their jerseys heading into next week’s local derby.

“South Canterbury have a huge pack, who love to carry the ball and are well drilled at the set-piece. Their backs are pacy and have size.

“In saying that, Wayne and I are looking forward to the challenge against one of the Heartland’s best sides.”

POVERTY BAY (1-15) — Toru Noanoa, Tamanui Hill (captain) Andrew Petelo, Micaiah Torrance-Reid, Sam McDell, Jesse Kapene, Callum McDonald, Ken Houkamau, Willy Grogan, Kelvin Smith, Willie McGoon, Mape Tuipulotu, Anthony Karauria, Te Peehi Fairlie, Andrew Tauatevalu. Reserves: Semisi Akana, Campbell Chrisp, Jacob Cook, Mekepio Brown, Mario Counsell, Oka Senerivi, Matt Raleigh.

Ngati Porou East Coast (1-15) — Faafoi Ioapo, Wyntah Riki, Pera Bishop, Scott Lasenby, Adaam Ross, Hoani Te Moana, Jack Richardson, Buchanan Maxwell, Sam Parkes, Ngarangi Haerewa, Teina Potae, Verdon Bartlett, Vern Parkes, Epeli Lotawa, Jayden Milner. Reserves: Daniel Knubley, Tim Barbarich, Mangu Kemp, CJ Fox, Fabyan Kahaki, Benny Haerewa, one to be added.

RUGBY

POVERTY Bay and Ngati Porou East Coast are both on the road, but facing different missions for week 4 of the Heartland Championship.

The Bay, after winning their opening game but losing the next two, are looking to rejuvenate their campaign with victory over West Coast in Greymouth.

The Coast, who have not won a Heartland game since 2013, have a “mission impossible” against South Canterbury in Timaru.

A win against a side two points above them would move Poverty Bay up the table and be a confidence boost ahead of the following week’s local derby at Ruatoria.

The Bay beat West Coast 36-19 here last year but West Coast go into tomorrow’s match on the back of a season-opening win over Thames Valley and impressive albeit losing performances against Mid Canterbury (36-29 ) joint competition leaders Wanganui (33-21), who beat the Bay 53-0 at Rugby Park last Saturday.

Bay coach Mana Otai has made three changes to the starting 15 from the Wanganui match.

First-choice first five-eighth Kelvin Smith, unavailable for the past two games, is back.

Smith had an outstanding season for Poverty Bay premier club competition winners Waikohu and played well in the Bay’s win against Wairarapa Bush.

His return means Andrew Tauatevalu, who wore the No.10 jersey in Smith’s absence, reverts to fullback, with Matt Raleigh dropping to the reserves.

Loosehead prop Toru Noanoa comes off the bench to replace Campbell Chrisp.

Lock Sam McDell also gets his first Heartland start at the expense of Jacob Cook.

Chrisp and Cook are in the reserves.

With back-up hooker Shayde Skudder unavailable, Semisi Akana, who has been injured, comes in as cover.

“Andrew (Tauatevalu) did well in his two games in the No.10 jersey and will grow in that position,” Otai said.

“But he’ll be more comfortable at the back where he can use his pace.”

Ngati Porou East Coast have conceded 147 points in three games but after a 75-17 loss to King Country and 46-8 defeat by Horowhenua Kapiti, the Sky Blues held Wairarapa Bush to 26-5 last week.

“That game was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests,” said co-coach Troy Para.

He and co-coach Wayne Ensor have been encouraged by the development of their side but are under no illusions about the challenge ahead of them.

“It’s definitely a huge task in front of us, considering the way South Canterbury are tracking,” Para said.

“A big setback for us is the unavailability of key players — Perrin Manuel, Hone Haerewa, Morrison Siliko, Rikki Kernohan and TK Moeke.

“That’s testing our squad strength, depth and numbers, however, it’s an opportunity for the incoming players to put a stake in the ground and show us what they have, and how much they want to retain their jerseys heading into next week’s local derby.

“South Canterbury have a huge pack, who love to carry the ball and are well drilled at the set-piece. Their backs are pacy and have size.

“In saying that, Wayne and I are looking forward to the challenge against one of the Heartland’s best sides.”

POVERTY BAY (1-15) — Toru Noanoa, Tamanui Hill (captain) Andrew Petelo, Micaiah Torrance-Reid, Sam McDell, Jesse Kapene, Callum McDonald, Ken Houkamau, Willy Grogan, Kelvin Smith, Willie McGoon, Mape Tuipulotu, Anthony Karauria, Te Peehi Fairlie, Andrew Tauatevalu. Reserves: Semisi Akana, Campbell Chrisp, Jacob Cook, Mekepio Brown, Mario Counsell, Oka Senerivi, Matt Raleigh.

Ngati Porou East Coast (1-15) — Faafoi Ioapo, Wyntah Riki, Pera Bishop, Scott Lasenby, Adaam Ross, Hoani Te Moana, Jack Richardson, Buchanan Maxwell, Sam Parkes, Ngarangi Haerewa, Teina Potae, Verdon Bartlett, Vern Parkes, Epeli Lotawa, Jayden Milner. Reserves: Daniel Knubley, Tim Barbarich, Mangu Kemp, CJ Fox, Fabyan Kahaki, Benny Haerewa, one to be added.

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