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PREVIEW: Manawatu v Counties Manukau

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

Manawatu v Counties Manukau, Central Energy Trust Arena, Palmerston North, Thursday, 7.35pm

TALE OF THE TAPE
Manawatu have made five changes to their side which started against Southland on Saturday. Fraser Armstrong returns at prop for Tuki Raimona while Michael Alaalatoa is back at tighthead for Sean Paranihi. Brice Henderson will start at No.8 for Harrison Brewer while Kayne Hammington and Otere Black return at halfback and first five-eighths respectively. Counties Manukau have made only two changes to their side which beat Northland on Sunday. Stephen Donald is at first five-eighths replacing Baden Kerr who is on the bench while wing Luteru Laulala will play on the right wing for Albert Nikoro. The pack is unchanged.

Games: 33
Wins: Manawatu 13, Counties Manukau 19, Draws 1
Last time: Manawatu 35 Counties Manukau 36, Pukekohe 2015


STATS WATCH

The two sides are evenly matched across the statistical spectrum. Manawatu have scored 24 tries to 23 while Counties Manukau have made 781 carries to 731. Counties Manukau have beaten 115 defenders and Manawatu 114 while the home team have made 76 breaks to the visitors' 70. In offloads Counties Manukau have 73 to 70 by Manawatu while open play kicks have Manawatu 170 and Counties Manukau 156. However, Counties Manukau have an edge in tackles made at 974 to 751 and a success rate of 84.55 to 81.10 with Manawatu missing 175 tackles and Counties Manukau 178. Turnovers conceded are 139 to Counties Manukau and 126 to Manawatu.

BLINDSIDE BATTLE
Two of the harder working members of the two sides Heiden Bedwell-Curtis and Ronald Raaymakers will do battle on the blindside of the pack. Raaymakers has played 615 minutes in the eight games Counties Manukau have played while Bedwell-Curtis has 531 minutes in seven games. The Manawatu man has made 54 carries to 49 and made 152 metres to 97. He also made two clean breaks to one while he has beaten eight defenders with Raaymakers still score. Raaymakers has won 16 lineouts to 11 by Bedwell-Curtis and made 22 passes to 21. They are split by a fraction in their tackles successes but Raaymakers has conceded 14 turnovers to six by Bedwell-Curtis and nine missed tackles to seven.

TEAMS


Manawatu: 1.Fraser Armstrong, 2.Tom Crozier, 3.Michael Alaalatoa, 4.Tom Parsons, 5.Jackson Hemopo, 6.Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 7.Antonio Kiri Kiri, 8.Brice Henderson, 9.Kayne Hammington, 10.Otere Black, 11.Ambrose Curtis, 12.Jason Emery, 13.Lewis Marshall, 14.Newton Tudreu, 15.Te Rangatira Waitokia.

Substitutes: 16.Hunter Prescott, 17.Tuki Raimona, 18.Sean Paranihi, 19.Liam Hallam-Eames, 20.Harrison Brewer, 21.Jamie Booth, 22.Jade Te Rure, 23.Hamish Northcott.

Counties Manukau: 1.Pauliasi Manu, 2.Joseph Royal, 3.Coree Te Whata-Colley, 4.Jimmy Tupou, 5.Matiaha Martin, 6.Ronald Raaymakers, 7.Fotu Lokotui, 8.Samuel Henwood, 9.Augustine Pulu, 10.Stephen Donald, 11.Tevita Nabura, 12.Orbyn Leger, 13.Nigel Ah Wong, 14.Luteru Laulala, 15.Tim Nanai-Williams.

Substitutes: 16.Gafatasi Su'a, 17.Sean Bagshaw, 18.Kalolo Tuiloma, 19.Viliame Rarasea, 20.Johnathan Kawau, 21.Liam Daniela, 22.Baden Kerr, 23.Kalione Hala.