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2014 Heartland Preview – Poverty Bay & South Canterbury

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We continue our reviews on all 12 Heartland Teams

we now look at Poverty Bay and South Canterbury

povertybay sthcanterbury


POVERTY BAY

POVERTY2013 finish: 12th

Poverty Bay will be hoping that Tau Moeke can win his third Heartland gold medal when the former Wanganui and East Coast Meads Cup champion player dons the Bay colours this season.

Moeke, a NZ Heartland rep, was in the winning Wanganui side in 2008 and also in the 2012 champion East Coast team.

He has been playing club rugby at first five and in mid field in Gisborne this year and should be a key member when coach Mutu Ngarimu settles on his Heartland squad.

Poverty Bay, four times Lochore Cup holders and twice Meads Cup semi-finalists, drifted to the bottom of Heartland rugby last year and Ngarimu is determined that the “Reds” will regain some pride this season.

Losses include Namibian international fullback Dave Philander to Taranaki and prop Jone Lesi to Bay of Plenty but back after an absence is first five Brad Turei.

The Bay’s match centurion, back rower Sione Ngatu with 110 caps to his credit and skipper last year, has been playing well in club rugby where the standard has been higher than in recent seasons.

The Bay beat East Coast 28-12 in an annual Queen’s Birthday match at Ruatoria.

After the union’s worst Heartland performance, conceding the most points and most tries last year, Poverty Bay is aiming for a much higher placing in 2014.

Poverty Bay 2014 Heartland Championship
Week One
23-Aug Poverty Bay v East Coast Gisborne 2:30 p.m.
Week Two
30-Aug North Otago v Poverty Bay Oamaru 2:30 p.m.
Week Three
6-Sep Poverty Bay v West Coast Gisborne 2:30 p.m.
Week Four
13-Sep Wairarapa Bush v Poverty Bay Masterton 2:30 p.m.
Week Five
20-Sep Sth Canterbury v Poverty Bay Timaru 2:30 p.m.
Week Six
27-Sep Poverty Bay v King Country Gisborne 2:30 p.m.
Week Seven
4-Oct Thames Valley v Poverty Bay Paeroa 2:30 p.m.
Week Eight
11-Oct Poverty Bay v Horo-Kapiti Gisborne 2:30 p.m.

SOUTH CANTERBURY

SOUTHCANTERBURY2013 finish: Lochore Cup winners

The expected loss of prolific points scorer 22-year-old Liam Edwards will be a major blow for the defending Lochore Cup champions this season.

Edwards, a loan player from Dunedin who has been in the wider Hawke’s Bay training squad this year, has been the leading points scorer and try scorer in Heartland rugby for the past two years.

The highly talented fullback scored 140 points including nine tries last season, playing a major role in helping the Stags celebrate a 125th jubilee by winning a first Heartland title from four Lochore finals.

Also missing from the backline will be strong mid-fielders Fa’aitu Tuamoheloa (51 games and a NZ Heartland rep) and John Peeters (25 caps), both retired.

Utility back George Folau, who scored five tries last year, is again available.

The side will pack down a formidable front row headed by  NZ Heartland rep prop Matt Fetu (65 games) and hooker Nathan Tubb (24 caps) plus fellow front rower Timaru Tafa  (58 matches).

Although the Stags finally won the Lochore Cup coach Chester Scott admitted it was a mixed season, including losing the Hanan Shield to neighbours Mid Canterbury, and the green and blacks have higher sights in 2014.

The side was shaded 26-25 by Ellesmere and South Canterbury bounced back in their final pre-season hitout with a good eight-try 52-30 win over Marlborough in Hanmer.

Down 22-12 at the break, South Canterbury poured on the pressure and points in the second half.

The previous weekend they had been given a lesson in rugby from defending Meads Cup champions Mid Canterbury 61-29

South Canterbury 2014 Heartland Championship
Week One
23-Aug Sth Canterbury v Wanganui Timaru 2:30 p.m.
Week Two
30-Aug West Coast v Sth Canterbury Greymouth 2:30 p.m.
Week Three
6-Sep Sth Canterbury v Wairarapa Bush Timaru 1:30 p.m.
Week Four
13-Sep Buller v Sth Canterbury Westport 2:30 p.m.
Week Five
20-Sep Sth Canterbury v Poverty Bay Timaru 2:30 p.m.
Week Six
27-Sep North Otago v Sth Canterbury Dunedin 2:30 p.m.
Week Seven
4-Oct Horo-Kapiti v Sth Canterbury Levin 2:00 p.m.
Week Eight
11-Oct Sth Canterbury v Mid Canterbury Timaru 2:30 p.m.

Next Up :

  THAMESVALLEY WAIRARAPABUSH

THAMES VALLEY – 2013 finish: 8th

&

WAIRARAPA-BUSH – 2013 finish: 3rd

Previews compiled by JB Phillips


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