PREVIEW: Tasman v Auckland

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Friday, October 6, 2017    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

Tasman v Auckland, Trafalgar Park, Nelson, Sunday, 2.30pm
Tasman go into the game on 25 points with a hold on fourth place in the Premiership. Auckland, after a poor season still have a mathematical chance of making the play-offs in a bid to resurrect their season while also avoid the relegation zone by getting a win in Nelson. They are on 17 points in sixth place. Tasman face Counties Manukau in their last game next week while Auckland play Canterbury. Tasman's changes for the game are minimal. Vernon Fredericks comes into the side at flanker for Pete Samu while in the backline Alex Nankiville has been replaced by Levi Aumua. Auckland have made only one change, injury enforced with lock Jamie Lane suffering concussion symptoms and he will be replaced by Samuel Slade. In the substitutes Isi Tu'ungafasi replaces Emersen Tamura-Paki who has study commitments.

Played: 9
Wins: Tasman 3, Auckland 5
Last time: Tasman 49 Auckland 31, Eden Park, Auckland, 2016

Coach Nick White said the win at the weekend had given the side a lift but they were well aware of the need to back that effort us. Tasman represent a tough threat, especially on home turf. "They've been a fairly strong side for the last few years now. They have a lot of guys who have played a lot of Super Rugby. But the important thing for us is to focus on what we have done, concentrating on our set-piece and building on last week. Our defence needs to be sound or they have the ability to cut lose," he said.

Tasman are playing their second game of the week but will be looking to their strengths to cope with the Auckland assault. Tasman sit fourth in the competition with 104 clean breaks while Auckland are last with 73. Tasman have beaten 189 defenders and Auckland 148. But in terms of carries Auckland are second with 1033 while Tasman have 997. The home side have made 4113 metres while Auckland have made 3474m. An important boost for Auckland is their top ranking in tackle success percentages on 86.7 while Tasman are third to last with 81.7.


Tasman: 1.Tim Perry, 2.Andrew Makalio, 3.Tyrel Lomax, 4.Shannon Frizell, 5.Pari Pari Parkinson, 6.Ethan Blackadder, 7.Vernon Fredericks, 8.Jordan Taufua, 9.Billy Guyton, 10.Mitchell Hunt, 11.James Lowe, 12.Trael Joass, 13.Levi Aumua, 14.Tima Faingaanuku, 15.Will Jordan.

Substitutes: 16.Ti'i Paulo, 17.Siosiua Halanukonuka, 18.Isaac Salmon, 19.Alex Ainley, 20.Peter Samu, 21.Finlay Christie, 22.Timothy O'Malley, 23.James Hawkey.

Auckland: 1.Sam Prattley, 2.Kurt Eklund, 3.Marcel Renata, 4.Sam Slade, 5.Ben Nee-Nee, 6.Taleni Seu, 7.Blake Gibson, 8.Akira Ioane, 9.Jono Hickey, 10.Tyrone Elkington Macdonald, 11.Joeseva Ravouvou, 12.TJ Faiane, 13.Vince Aso, 14.Tumua Manu, 15.Melani Nanai.

Substitutes: 16.Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17.Isi Tu'ungafasi, 18.Dexter Fa'amoana, 19.Sinclair Dominikovich Murray, 20.Dalton Papali'i, 21.Nico Costa, 22.Harry Plummer, 23.George Moala.