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PREVIEW: Northland v Otago

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Monday, September 25, 2017    allblacks.com    Getty Images

Match details: Northland v Otago, Wednesday 27 September, 7.35pm, Toll Stadium, Whangarei. TICKETS.

Played: 46 (1936-2016)
Wins: Northland 10, Otago 34, Draws 2
Last match: Otago 33 Northland 28 (2016)

FORM
Both teams have impressed in 2017 but Otago seem to be on the rise while Northland’s form has dropped away slightly over the past couple of weeks. Otago are coming off a superb 34-26 win over Auckland while Northland were comfortably beaten by Manawatu, 39-25.

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NITRO NAREKI
The Mitre 10 Cup always seems to unearth new stars and Jona Nareki is one of those players for Otago. The electric 19-year-old wing sits second on the try-scoring ladder with six tries from five games. With ball in hand he has proven hard to contain with 11 clean breaks and 14 defenders beaten throughout the season. His battle with Northland flyer Jone Macilai will be one to savour. 



THE SCOOP
Otago have worked into a nice rhythm in 2017 with steady improvements every game. Northland have a number of attacking threats and will put points on Otago but the southerners should have enough class to get the win.

TEAMS
Otago:
 Aki Seiuli, Sekonaia Pole, Donald Brighouse, Josh Furno, Josh Dickson, Adam Knight, James Lentjes, Sione Teu, Josh Renton, Fletcher Smith, Jona Nareki, Josh Ioane, Josh Timu, Latu Vaeno, Vilimoni Koroi
Reserves: Sam Anderson-Heather, Craig Millar, Hisa Sasagi, Blair Tweed, Slade McDowall, Jonathan Ruru, Hayden Parker, Leroy van Dam

Northland: Ross Wright, Matt Moulds, Ropate Rinakama, Josh Goodhue, Murray Douglas, Jack Ram, Dan Pryor, Matt Matich, Sam Nock, Peter Breen, Jone Macilai, Jack Goodhue, Rene Ranger, Jordan Hyland, Solomon Alaimalo
Reserves: Jordan Olsen, Phil Kite, Chris Apoua, Michael Faleafa, Kara Pryor, Matty Marwick, Tim Blundell, Tua Tamati