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CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW: Hawke’s Bay v Northland

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018    allblacks.com    Getty Images

Played: 11 (2006-2017)
Won: Hawke’s Bay 7, Northland 3, Drawn 1
Last time: Northland 34, Hawke’s Bay 7 (7 October 2017)
Referee: Nick Hogan

FORM
The Magpies started the season strong but have stuttered with two heavy losses in the last two rounds to Waikato (42-22) and North Harbour (51-34). In contrast, Northland’s last two outings have brought bonus point wins over Manawatu and Southland.

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TERRIFIC TANIWHA
Northland need only look back to last season to get confidence for this clash. In one of their best displays of 2017, the Taniwha demolished Hawke’s Bay 34-7 at home. 



NEXT-GEN TE NANA
After making his debut for the Taniwha last week, Renata Roberts-Te Nana is set to make his second appearance from the bench. Son of sevens legend Karl Te Nana, Roberts-Te Nana is blessed with genuine pace and silky ball skills. Watch for the rising star to make an impact late in the game.
FAST FACT (Opta)
Northland have won their last two games on the bounce and will be searching for a third-straight win for the first time since 2008.

THE SCOOP
Northland have shown a lot of promise in 2018 but a victory over Hawke’s Bay in Napier will confirm them as a genuine title contender. Hawke’s Bay have plenty of talent stacked throughout their lineup and know that a victory will place them well to secure a home semifinal. It’s going to be a clash between two teams with plenty to play for and could just be a prelude of something to come in the playoffs.

TEAMS
Hawke’s Bay

1: Mark Braidwood 2: Kianu Kereru-Symes 3: Ben May 4: Tom Parsons 5: Michael Allardice 6: Geoff Cridge 7: Gareth Evans 8: Marino Makaele-Tu’u 9: Brad Weber 10: Lincoln McClutchie 11: Mason Emerson 12: Pasqualle Dunn 13: Stacy Ili 14: Jonah Lowe 15: Jamie Jerry Taulagi
Reserves: Ben Power, Jason Long, Joe Apikota, Sam Ulufonua, Devan Flanders, Folau Fakatava, Josh Kaifa, Sasa Tofilau

Northland
1. Isileli Tu'ungafasi 2. Jordan Olsen 3. Ropate Rinakama 4. Josh Goodhue 5. Murray Douglas 6. Jaycob Matiu 7. Kara Pryor 8. Matt Matich 9. Sam Nock 10. Jack Debreczeni 11. Scott Gregory 12. Blake Hohaia 13. Rene Ranger 14. Jordan Hyland 15. Matty Wright
Reserves: Matt Moulds, Jack Straker, Paddy Jo Atkins, Temo Mayanavanua, Sam McNamara, Jono Kitto, Myles Thoroughgood, Renata Roberts-Te Nana