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CROSSOVER PREVIEW: Manawatu v Wellington

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Saturday, September 22, 2018    allblacks.com    Getty Images


Match details:
Manawatu v Wellington, Sunday 23 September, 4.35pm, Central Energy Trust Arena, Palmerston North

Played: 86 (1887-2017)
Won: Wellington 60, Manawatu 20, Drawn 6
Last time: Wellington 41, Manawatu 29 (20 August 2017)
Referee: Cam Stone

FORM
After winning their opening game against Waikato, the Turbos have dropped five on the trot to sit second to last on the Championship ladder. Wellington have picked up four wins and two losses to sit inside the top four in the Premiership.



FAST FACT (Opta)
Wellington have won four of their last six away games against Manawatu, including a 41-29 victory against them in the opening round of the 2017 campaign.

KEEP AN EYE ON
Rob Thompson has been Manawatu’s most dangerous weapon all season and has surprisingly been moved from the midfield to the wing for this clash. He will line up against Wellington wrecking ball Ben Lam in what should be an explosive clash. Thompson is a reliable defender who will not only be tasked with shutting down Lam, but also exposing him on attack. 

DOUBLE HEADER
It’s going to be a huge day or action at Central Energy Trust Arena with the Manawatu Cyclones playing Canterbury in a block buster Farah Palmer Cup clash at 2.05pm before the Turbos take on Wellington at 4.35pm. It makes up one of four double-headers played during the Wahine Round which will be televised live on Sky Sport.
THE SCOOP
This is a crucial clash for both teams with a win for Wellington putting them squarely in the race for a top two finish in the Premiership while Manawatu need a win to provide some hope for a late playoffs run in the Championship. Exactly 70 points were scored the last time these two teams clashed and fans should expect just as many points this time. Both teams love to attack and with Hurricanes bragging rights at stake their will be no shortage of endeavour from either team.

TEAMS
Manawatu:

1: Faalelei Sione, 2: Sam Stewart, 3: Sean Paranihi 4: Liam Hallam-Eames 5: Nick Croswell 6: Liam Mitchell 7: Adrian Wyrill 8: Brad Tucker 9: Kayne Hammington 10: Otere Black 11: James Tofa, 12: Hamish Northcott 13: Lifemi Mafi 14: Rob Thompson 15: Te Rangatira Waitoka
Reserves: Gene Syminton, Fraser Armstrong, Michael Alaalatoa, Sam Slade, Brice Henderson, Jamie Booth, Sam Malcolm, Ben Werthmuller

Wellington:
1: Tolu Fahamokioa 2: Asafo Aumua 3: Jeffery Toomaga-Allen 4: James Blackwell 5: Isaia Walker-Leaware 6: Galu Taufale 7: Mateaki Kafatolu 8: Thomas Waldrom 9: Kemera Hauiti-Parapara 10: Jackson Garden-Bachop 11: Ben Lam 12: Thomas Umaga-Jensen 13: Matt Proctor 14: Losi Filipo 15: Wes Goosen
Reserves: James O’Reilly, Xavier Numia, Joel Hintz, Will Mangos, Greg Foe, Sheridan Rangihuna, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Trent Renata