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Match preview: Waikato vs. Bay of Plenty

Fotopress

Thursday, September 29, 2005    allblacks.com    Fotopress

Chiefs’ lock Bernie Upton is the latest victim, damaging a ligament in his leg prior to the Southland match, which has ended his season. Upton’s injury means that skipper Wayne Ormond will once again revert to the second row against Waikato with promising blindside, New Zealand Maori representative Warren Smith, continuing on the side of the scrum.

The loss of Upton has been partially off-set by the return of powerful midfield back Allan Bunting, who made a late appearance from the bench in the 19–13 loss to Southland but is poised to play a more significant role at Hamilton.

Another interesting inclusion against Southland was New Zealand Sevens player Tanerau Latimer, who was included in the match day 22 for the first time in the Air New Zealand NPC. The 19-year-old, who appeared in last year’s AXA New Zealand International Sevens whilst still at school, is considered a bright future prospect for Bay of Plenty.

Bay of Plenty’s exciting 26-20 win in last year’s Ranfurly Shield defence won’t have been forgotten by the Waikato side. The win was only Bay of Plenty’s fourth in 15 Air New Zealand NPC matches against its neighbour, and its first since a 46-25 success in 1987.

While three defeats away from home in as many weeks have condemned Waikato to exclusion from this year’s playoffs, they will relish the opportunity to finish the campaign strongly playing their final two matches at home.

Teams
Waikato: Sosene Anesi, Richard Kahui, Dwayne Sweeney, David Hill, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Stephen Donald, Byron Kelleher, Steven Bates (captain), Marty Holah, Liam Messam, Sean Hohneck, Toby Lynn/Mark Burman, Deacon Manu, Scott Linklater, Philemon Toleafoa.
Reserves: Aled de Malmanche/Ted Tuaroa, Nathan White, Mark Burman/Marc Morunga, Steven Setephano, Brendon Leonard, Mark Ranby, William Ripia.

Bay of Plenty: Adrian Cashmore/Hayden Reid, David Johnston, Grant McQuoid, Rena Schuster, Anthony Tahana, Mike Delany, Kevin Senio, Colin Bourke, Nili Latu, Warren Smith, Wayne Ormond (captain), Mark Sorenson, Ben Castle, Aleki Lutui, Simms Davison.
Reserves: John Pareanga, Taufa'ao Filise, Paul Tupai, Tanerau Latimer, Charles Hubbard, Allan Bunting, Reid/Filimone Bolavucu.

Waikato v Bay of Plenty, Hamilton
Kick-off: Saturday at 5.30pm
Referee: Steve Walsh (North Harbour)
TAB odds: Waikato $1.30, Bay of Plenty $3.30