PREVIEW: Hawke's Bay v Manawatu

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Thursday, October 4, 2018    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

Match details: Hawke's Bay v Manawatu, McLean Park, Napier, Friday, 7.35pm

Played: 101
Won: Hawke's Bay 65, Manawatu 33, Draws 3
Last time: Hawke's Bay 36-31 Manawatu, Napier, October 15, 2017
Referee: Ben O'Keefe


Hawke's Bay are assured of a playoffs berth in the Championship as a result of their four wins. They started with two away wins against Southland (31-10) and Otago (31-25). They lost at home to Counties Manukau (25-29) and then beat Bay of Plenty (29-28). However, they followed that with a 22-42 loss to Waikato in a Ranfurly Shield challenge, and a loss at home to North Harbour (41-55). They beat Northland at home (55-41) and then lost their last game to Canterbury (24-49). After their promising 24-19 win over Waikato first up, Manawatu suffered a string of losses to: Taranaki 21-41, Otago 17-50, Canterbury 23-34, Northland 19-49, Tasman 19-29 and Wellington 7-49 before getting back on the win column with a 17-15 win over Bay of Plenty.


Having rested several of the side's leading players against Canterbury, Hawke's Bay have named the same starting XV that beat Northland in their last home game. Mark Braidwood returns at loosehead prop while Kianu Kereru-Symes will hook and Ben May will be at tighthead. Michael Allardice will be back at lock while Gareth Evans will be on the openside flank and Marino Mikaele will play No.8. Brad Weber is back at halfback. Mason Emerson is on the left wing with Pasqualle Dunn and Stace Ili in the midfield.


Manawatu got a big boost when All Blacks second five-eighths Ngani Laumape was available after recovering a strain to the anterior cruciate ligament during the Nelson Test against Argentina. His combination with first five-eighths Otere Black and centre Rob Thompson will give Manawatu a strong look in midfield. Jamie Booth's sensational start against Bay of Plenty has seen him given the halfback start while Sam Malcolm, another good performer in Rotorua, will start against at fullback. On the reserves bench Tim Cadwallader is back from injury at hooker.


Hawke's Bay are looking for their first back-to-back win at home since the 2015 season while Manawatu, who have lost nine of their last 11 games, will be looking to have their first back-to-back wins for more than a year.

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 Mikaele Tu'u, 9.Brad Weber, 10.Lincoln McClutchie, 11.Mason Emerson, 12.Pasqualle Dunn, 13.Stacey Ili, 14.Jonah Lowe, 15.Jamie Jerry Taulagi.

Substitutes: 16.Jason Long, 17.Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18.Joe Apikotoa, 19.Devan Flanders, 20.Josh Kaifa, 21.Folau Fakatava, 22.Danny Toala, 23.Michael Buckley.

Manawatu: 1.Fraser Armstrong, 2.Sam Stewart, 3.Michael Alaalatoa, 4.Liam Hallam-Eames, 5.Brad Tucker, 6.Liam Mitchell, 7.Antonio Kiri Kiri, 8.Brice Henderson, 9.Jamie Booth, 10.Otere Black, 11.Junior Laloifi, 12.Ngani Laumape, 13.Rob Thompson, 14.Michael Tagicakibau, 15.Sam Malcolm.

Substitutes: 16.Tim Cadwallader, 17.Faalelei Sione, 18.Sean Paranihi, 19.Samuel Slade, 20.Adrian Wyrill, 21.Kayne Hammington, 22.Jade Te Rure, 23.Hamish Northcott.