PREVIEW: Otago v Canterbury

Getty Images

Friday, September 21, 2018    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

Match details: Otago v Canterbury, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, September 22, 5.05pm

Played: 164
Won: Otago 63, Canterbury 91, Draws 10
Last time: Otago 24-37 Canterbury, Christchurch, August 27, 2017
Referee: Nick Briant


Otago started with consecutive losses in their 2018 campaign, the first in Wellington to the Lions 16-34 and the second at home to Hawke's Bay 25-21. However, they had made it three out of three since with a 50-17 win away over Manawatu, a 27-23 win at home against Northland and a 43-24 win over Southland in Invercargill last week. Canterbury have suffered two losses, in their first game away against Tasman 17-25 and their last game, at home, to Auckland 29-34. Their wins have been over Wellington 27-20, Bay of Plenty 31-19, Manawatu 34-23 and North Harbour 31-21.


Otago's front row has taken an injury hit with starting loosehead Aki Seiuli still suffering from a knee injury suffered against Northland so Tom Hill will make only his second start for the side. On the tighthead Donald Brighouse is out for family reason while back-up Hisa Sasagi has a knee injury which sees Giorgio Bower come into the side. Otago B player Angus Williams will be his back-up on the bench and will make his debut if getting onto the field. Flanker Joketani Koroi is being rested after concussion while has seen Slade McDowall start on the open side with Naulia Dawai crossing to the blindside flank.


Daniel Lienert-Brown, who through his Highlanders' connection knows Forsyth Barr Stadium well, has been given the start at loosehead prop ahead of Alex Hodgman while Brodie McAlister will start at hooker with Nic Souchon as cover on the bench. Chris King will start at tighthead with Same Tawake on the bench. At lock Mitchell Dunshea gets the start with Hamish Dalzell on the bench. With Whetukamokamo Douglas' season-ending injury, Reed Prinsep has moved to No.8 while Billy Harmon will start on the open side flank with Tom Sanders on the blindside. The backline is unchanged.


Canterbury have won 12 games in succession against Otago, and have won eight of their last 11 games on the road, including their last two wins of the 2018 campaign.


Otago: 1.Tom Hill, 2.Sam Anderson-Heather, 3.Donald Brighouse, 4.Tom Rowe, 5.Josh Dickson, 6.Naulia Dawai, 7.Slade McDowall, 8.Dylan Nel, 9.Kurt Hammer, 10.Josh Ioane, 11.Jona Nareki, 12.Sio Tomkinson, 13.Matt Faddes, 14.Mitchell Scott, 15.Michael Collins.

Substitutes: 16.Sekonaia Pole, 17.Jonah Aoina, 18.George Bower, 19.Sione Misiloi, 20.Hame Toma, 21.Melani Matavao, 22.Matt Whaanga, 23.Vilimoni Koroi.

Canterbury: 1.Daniel Lienert-Brown, 2.Brodie McAlister, 3.Chris King, 4.Luke Romano, 5.Mitchell Dunshea, 6.Tom Sanders, 7.Billy Harmon, 8.Reed Prinsep, 9.Mitchell Drummond, 10.Brett Cameron, 11.Caleb Makene, 12.Phil Burleigh, 13.Braydon Ennor, 14.Josh McKay, 15.George Bridge.

Substitutes: 16.Nic Souchon, 17.Alex Hodgman, 18.Same Tawake, 19.Hamish Dalzell, 20.Tom Christie, 21.Connor Collins, 22.Sam Beard, 23.Ngane Punivai.