23 August 2014
Horowhenua-Kapiti v Thames Valley
@ Levin 2:30 PM – BET NOW
We begin our Head 2 Head Previews with Horowhenua-Kapiti vs Thames Valley.
After finishing at the tail of the field the previous two years Horowhenua-Kapiti improved one position but would have finished a lot higher had it not been for six defeats by seven or fewer points.
The side’s six bonus points was only headed by South Canterbury with seven. Coach Jared Tanira is aiming to climb much higher this season.
The only heavy defeat was 30-13 at the hands of Lochore Cup champions South Canterbury but there were agonizing losses to 2012 Meads Cup winners East Coast (24-25) and runners-up Wanganui (24-28), to new Meads Cup titleholders Mid Canterbury (9-13) and to Lochore Cup runners-up Buller (15-19).
NZ Heartland fullback Michael Tambour should be a key player with the union hoping to obtain the services of Wellington first five James So’oialo, brother of ex-All Black Rodney.
Horowhenua is also negotiating for the return of Wellington loan players inside back Adrian Curry (top scorer with 42 pts last year), mid field back Perry Hayman and winger Etuale Togia with Luke Harvey in line again as Player of Origin.
Shannon No 8 Grant Robson, the 2013 captain, led by example last year.
Apart from 2009, when fifth overall, it has been a struggle for Horowhenua-Kapiti but after so many close shaves last season there are hopes of a much higher ranking this year.
The Horowhenua-Kapiti Heartland Championship extended announced on the 16th July: Scott Anderson ; James Bailey ; Andre Blignaut ; Rawiri Broughton ; Logan Broughton ; Tainui Brown ; Alex Brunskill ; Lennon Carrington ; Scott Cameron ; Sean Christenson ; Matt Easton ; Barry Farrow ; Cody Finau ; James Forsthye ; Antony Fox ; Sam Hayes ; Rhys Hunter ; Kurt Jackson ; Aaron Kearney ; Aaron Lahmert ; Tyson Maki ; Rangi Matakatea ; Sonny McBride ; Gregor McGregor ; Stuart McGregor ; Rob Millar ; Jim Morgan ; Axel Nielsen ; Hayden O’Callaghan ; Leo Parata ; Hone Paraone ; Garry Phelps ; Dylan Ratana ; Kori Rene ; Trent Reti ; Grant Robson ; Ryan Shelford ; Lee Simons ; Joey Smith ; Michael Tambour ; Adam Thompson ; David Thompson ; Louie Tovo ; Michael Van Belle ; Danny Wanoa ; David White ; Tyrone Wiki ; Tainui Woodmass .
The decision of 69-match All Black Frank Bunce to climb on board as assistant to new coach Hayden Roe, a former Valley rep, has given the Swamp Foxes an extra dimension this season.
Bunce, who has purchased a tyre shop in Thames, has attracted a young 136kg prop, Eva Taumalolo (Manukau Rovers), who has played in France, to boost Valley’s front row.
Michael Tuiloma, 120kg, who played a game for 2013 Lochore Cup champions South Canterbury, is another front rower along with former Waikato loosehead Kieran Ramage.
Former Fijian international lock Savenaca Tabakanalagi, another at 120 kg, is also in the squad as is ex Auckland and Southland centre Watisoni Lotawa.
The backline includes 30-year-old first five or utility back David Harrison, the most capped squad member with more than 85 caps and 582 points to his credit.
The Foxes have swamped Matamata Corinthians 64-10 and beat the Cook Islands 19-12 before losing 68-0 to Counties Manukau in a Ranfurly Shield challenge in Pukekohe.
Valley would love a start like last season, claiming the scalps of both Lochore Cup finalists, South Canterbury and Buller, plus Poverty Bay before four losses on the trot and then beating Meads Cup semi-finalists Wairarapa-Bush but eventually losing 14-8 away to champions South Canterbury in the Lochore semis.
Thames Valley Heartland Squad 2014
Waihou : Hayden Wisnewski , Kent McFarlane , Joe Murray
Thames : Nick Judd , Aaron McDonald , William Tamanalevu , Barton Thompson
Hauraki North – David Harrison , Jason Laurich , Caleb Brown ,Lance Easton
Paeroa West – Peni Kamakorewa
Te Aroha College Old Boys : Matt Hema , Josh Turner , Rueben Leask
Waihi Athletic : Brett Ranga
Mercury Bay : Kieran Ramage
Coromandel : Haere Renata
Ngatea : Blake Hill
Manukau Rovers : Fine’eva Taumalolo
Te Awamutu Sports : Richard Judd
Kia Toa : Ryan Kelleler
HOROWHENUA KAPITI v THAMES VALLEY
Saturday 23 August, 2.30pm at Community Trust Domain, Levin
Played: 6, 2006-2012 (DNP 2013)| Horowhenua Kapiti wins: 2 | Thames Valley wins: 4
Last match: Horowhenua Kapiti 25 Thames Valley 19, 15.09.12 in Paraparaumu (HC)
Last Thames Valley win: Thames Valley 36 Horowhenua Kapiti 5, 13.08.11 in Paeroa (HC)
Biggest Horowhenua Kapiti score: 36 (36-6), 04.10.08 in Thames (LC)
Biggest Thames Valley score: 45 (45-23), 15.09.07 in Te Aroha (HC)
Biggest differential: Thames Valley by 30 (36-6), 04.10.08 in Thames (LC)
|HEARTLAND CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHES|
|Head-to-head matches: HOROWHENUA – THAMES VALLEY|
|15.09.12||Horowhenua||Thames Valley||25 : 19|
|13.08.11||Thames Valley||Horowhenua||05 : 36|
|18.09.10||Horowhenua||Thames Valley||26 : 17|
|04.10.08||Thames Valley||Horowhenua||36 : 06|
|Last matches: Horowhenua-Kapiti
|12.10.13||North Otago||Horowhenua||27 : 22|
|05.10.13||Horowhenua||Wanganui||24 : 28|
|28.09.13||South Cant||Horowhenua||30 : 13|
|21.09.13||Horowhenua||Buller||15 : 19|
|14.09.13||Wairarapa||Horowhenua||22 : 15|
|07.09.13||Horowhenua||King Country||19 : 18|
|31.08.13||Horowhenua||Mid Cant||09 : 13|
|24.08.13||East Coast||Horowhenua||25 : 24|
|13.10.12||Horowhenua||Wairarapa||05 : 31|
|06.10.12||Mid Cant||Horowhenua||48 : 12|
|Last matches: Thames Valley|
|19.10.13||South Cant||Thames Valley||14 : 08|
|12.10.13||Thames Valley||Wairarapa||23 : 15|
|05.10.13||Mid Cant||Thames Valley||44 : 11|
|28.09.13||Thames Valley||West Coast||18 : 33|
|21.09.13||Wanganui||Thames Valley||28 : 08|
|14.09.13||King Country||Thames Valley||27 : 22|
|07.09.13||Thames Valley||Buller||23 : 18|
|31.08.13||Poverty Bay||Thames Valley||18 : 27|
|24.08.13||Thames Valley||South Cant||21 : 17|
|13.10.12||North Otago||Thames Valley||28 : 07|