PREVIEW: Bay of Plenty v Canterbury

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Friday, August 31, 2018    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

Match details: Bay of Plenty v Canterbury, Tauranga Domain, Saturday, September 1, 2.35pm

Played: 34
Won: Bay of Plenty 8, Canterbury 24, Draws 2
Last time: Bay of Plenty 18-48 Canterbury, Rotorua, September 5, 2013
Referee: Michael Winter


Bay of Plenty have had a dream start, beating the Ranfurly Shield holders Taranaki in their opening game of the competition and then adding another Premiership scalp to their record when beating Counties Manukau 22-17 in Pukekohe in the second week. Canterbury, after losing to franchise partner Tasman in the opening week, got their game back on track against Wellington in round two with a 27-20 win in Christchurch. They'll be looking to add that defensively strong effort in Tauranga on Saturday.


Few of the Bay of Plenty side will have ever played against Canterbury. An exception is flanker Tanerau Latimer, who has been named in the starting XV. That's been the way of the revised Mitre 10 Cup competition since it has been divided into Premiership and Championship levels, with three crossover games for each team. It's just that the two sides haven't clashed in that format. But two years earlier Bay of Plenty enjoyed a rare win over Canterbury, beating them 35-31. With two wins from two starts this year, Bay of Plenty will have confidence but Canterbury's first round loss to Tasman has made life harder for all subsequent sides as they look to build their defence of the Premiership title.


Canterbury have made five changes in the starting XV from that which beat Wellington. Prop Daniel Lienert-Brown and hooker Greg Pleasants-Tate will start with Alex Hodgman and Nathan Vella to provide cover at lock and hooker. Hamish Dalzell will lock with Luke Romano as Mitch Dunshea joins the reserves. Tom Sanders will play on the openside flanker with Luke Whitelock playing at No. 8. Whetukamokamo Douglas will be on the bench. In light of centre Braydon Ennor's hamstring injury suffered last week, Ngane Punivai will start. James Hawkey has been added to the bench.


Bay of Plenty have managed to win their last three home games and if able to claim a fourth is would be their best streak since an eight-game run of wins in 2010-11.


The Bay of Plenty Volcanix will open their Farah Palmer Cup season ahead of the Mitre 10 Cup clash. The Volcanix will also be meeting their Canterbury counterparts, at 11.35am on Saturday, a team Bay of Plenty have yet to beat in the four games they have played in the competition. The last time they played, in 2016 in Christchurch, Canterbury won 31-0.


Bay of Plenty: 1.Solomona Sakalia, 2.Tom Crozier, 3.Ross Geldenhuys, 4.Tyler Ardron, 5.Baden Wardlaw, 6.Tanerau Latimer, 7.Mitchell Karpik, 8.Hoani Matenga, 9.Richard Judd, 10.Michael Delany, 11.Chase Tiatia, 12.Terrence Hepetema, 13.Trael Joass, 14.Fa'asiu Fuatai, 15.Kaleb Trask.

Substitutes: 16.Angus McDonald, 17.James Lay, 18.Jeff Thwaites, 19.Aaron Carroll, 20.Aileone Junior Lafaele-Mua, 21.Luke Campbell, 22.Liam Steel, 23.Bailey Simonsson.

Canterbury: 1.Daniel Lienert-Brown, 2.Greg Pleasants-Tate, 3.Sef Fa'agase, 4.Luke Romano, 5.Hamish Dalzell, 6.Reed Prinsep, 7.Tom Sanders, 8.Luke Whitelock, 9.Mitchell Drummond, 10.Brett Cameron, 11.Caleb Makene, 12.Sam Beard, 13.Ngane Punivai, 14.Josh McKay, 15.George Bridge.

Substitutes: 16.Nathan Vella, 17.Alex Hodgman, 18.Chris King, 19.Mitchell Dunshea, 20.Whetukamokamo Douglas, 21.Connor Collins, 22.James Hawkey, 23.Filimoni Waqainabete.