PREVIEW: Tasman v Southland

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Friday, September 22, 2017    Getty Images

Match details: Sunday 24 September, 4.35pm at Trafalgar Park, Nelson. TICKETS.
Played: 9 (2006-2016)
Wins: Tasman 5, Southland 4
Last match: Tasman 56 Southland 0 (2016)

Form is not a word that can be associated with Southland at the moment. They sit at the foot of the Championship ladder after suffering six losses and have had little time to pick themselves up after going down 57-0 to Bay of Plenty on Wednesday. Tasman are well-placed to make the Premiership playoffs with a three win – two loss record. Last week they edged Otago 29-27 in a thrilling contest.

It was bad news for Southland when they last played Tasman in round nine last year. Tasman piled on 56 points and kept the Stags scoreless.

The Makos welcome back 100-game veteran Robbie Malneek for the first time in 2017. With outside back Levi Aumua suspended for three games, 34-year-old Malneek says he is excited by the chance to play for the Makos again. "I'm just going to go out there and give it all. I've got nothing to lose and the coaches have brought me in for the experience and wherever I can chime in I will."

Southland put on a great first 40 minutes against Canterbury before falling away in the second half. If they are to get their first win in 2017 they will need to put in a full eighty minute performance. Tasman have made a number of changes to their line up but should still win this comfortably.

Tim Perry, Andrew Makalio, Tyrel Lomax, Shannon Frizell, Quinten Strange, Ethan Blackadder, Pete Samu, Jordan Taufua, Finlay Christie, Tim O’Malley, James Lowe, Alex Nankivell, Trael Joass, Viliami Lolohea, Will Jordan
Reserves: Ti’I Paulo, Tom Hill, Siosuia Halanukonuka, Pari Pari Parkinson, Vernon Fredericks, Billy Guyton, Mitchell Hunt, Robbie Malneek

Southland: Shaun Stodart, Thomas Flynn, Guy Millar, Michael McKee, Manaaki Selby-Rickit, Tupou Sopoaga, Tim Boys, Elliot Dixon, Jay Renton, Scott Eade, Aleki Morris, Matthew Johnson, Lewis Ormond, Michael Molloy, Ryan Tongia
Reserves: Brayden Mitchell, Joe Walsh, Morgan Mitchell, Phil Halder, Neria Fomai, William Talataina-Mu, Bill Fukofuka