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PREVIEW: Tasman v North Harbour

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017    allblacks.com    Getty Images

Match details: Tasman v North Harbour, 7.35pm Wednesday 4 October, Landsdowne Park, Blenheim. TICKETS. 

Played: 8 (2006-2016)
Wins: Tasman 2, North Harbour 5, Draws: 1
Last match: North Harbour 27, Tasman 27 (2016)

FORM
North Harbour have been the surprise package of the Premiership with six wins from seven games. Last week they were pushed close by Hawke’s Bay before winning 33-30. Tasman have been up and down with four wins from seven games but are still well poised to make the playoffs. Last round they were highly competitive before succumbing to Taranaki. 

QUICK TAP: MITRE 10 CUP ROUND SEVEN WRAP

DYNAMIC DUO
One of the key’s to North Harbour’s fine form in 2017 has been the combination of flying wings Tevita Li and Shaun Stevenson. The two young speedsters have crossed for 12 tries between them and have been a constant threat to all opposition teams. Tevita Li has been particularly evasive with 26 defenders beaten while Stevenson’s ball carrying has been top class with 510 metres ran during the competition. When combined with classy fullback Matt Duffie, North Harbour boast one of the most potent back three combinations in the Mitre 10 Cup.
THE SCOOP
Match-ups don’t get much harder than this to pick. Last year’s finalists against one of this season’s form teams. North Harbour will come out firing and should have the edge out wide over Tasman. The packs are evenly matched with Tasman loose forward pairing Pete Samu and Jordan Taufua offering a little more go-forward. The Makos will be buoyed on by their home crowd and this could be enough to give them the victory – but it will be close.

TEAMS
Tasman: Tim Perry, Andrew Makalio, Tyrek Lomax, Shannon Frizell, Pari Pari Parkinson, Ethan Blackadder, Pete Samu, Jordan Taufua, Billy Guyton, Mitchell Hunt, Alex Nankivell, Trael Joass, Tima Faingaanuku, Will Jordan.
Reserves: Ti’i Paulo, Siosiua Halanukonuka, Issac Salmon, Finlay Christie, Tim O’Malley (two to be added)

North Harbour:
Chris Eves, Steven Misa, Michael Tamoaieta, Shane Neville, Jarrad Hoeata, Brandon Nansen, Murphy Taramai, Josh Tyrell, Chris Smylie, Ben Volavola, Tevita Li, Shaun Treeby, Matt Vaega, Shaun Stevenson, Matt Duffie
Reserves: James Parsons, Karl Tuinukuafe, Sione Mafileo, Glenn Preston, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Lewis Gjaltema, Daniel Hilton-Jones, Bryn Gatland