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Heartland Preview – Buller v North Otago – Head 2 Head

BULLER@2x-pwg1kuxb. vs NORTHOTAGO

23 August 2014

Buller v North Otago

@ Westport 2:30 PM – BET NOW



coastfmlogoWe continue our Head 2 Head Previews with Buller v North Otago.


BULLER@2x-pwg1kuxb.2013 finish: Lochore Cup runners-up

After winning the Lochore in 2012 and finishing second to South Canterbury last season Buller’s co-coaches, with the bulk of the squad again available, have positive vibes for 2014.

The “two Craigs” – Neill and Scanlon – coached the Red and Blues to a first ever away Heartland win (40-30) over Wanganui in the semis last year to set up a repeat Lochore final against South Canterbury.

Two scalpings of Wanganui – it was 15-11 at home in qualifying – were the highlights of 2013 which ended with a 10-17 finals loss in Timaru.

Buller’s two match centurions – flanker  Luke Brownlee (134 caps) and tight-head prop Phil Beveridge (120 game) – are back for more action as is 53-match lock-prop Logan Mundy.

NZ Heartland rep goal-kicking halfback Andrew Stephens (55 games and 184 pts including 47 last year) will again by a key pivot in the backline which is also expected to include talented fullback William Saukuru plus penetrating Mitieli Kaloudigibeci, Iliesa Ravudra, Mike Schmidt-Lealava’a and Panimani Nabainivalu.

Buller provided half of the combined squad with West Coast that played NZ Universities in Westport recently and there was a Seddon Shield challenge they had after winning the shield from the West Coast , before relinquishing it last weekend to Nelson Bays.

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Buller  Heartland Squad 2014

The following players have been selected in the Buller Heartland squad for the 2014 campaign.
Logan Mundy, Phil Beveridge, Warwick Knox, Jerome Vai, Glen Duncan, Attila Va’a, Craig Moore, Tai Ratu, Morgan Eames, Luke Brownlee, Blair McIlroy, Rhys Burton, Simon Abel, Isei Lewaqai, Luke Watson, Andrew Stephens, Craig Adams, Jesse Elley, James Lash, Peni Nabainivalu, Mike Lealava’a, Iliasa Ravudra, Sam Marris, Scott Neighbours, Brad Collins, Tokohau Samuels, 1 to be added.


NORTHOTAGO2013 finish: Meads Cup runners-up

The 2007 and 2010 champions have had a three-match tour of Fiji and Tonga in August to warm-up for the championship, again under Munster’s Mike Mullins as coach with Troy Looms his understudy.

The Old Golds have considerable changes from last season with 10 players gone but offset by 11 newcomers from England, Canada and Argentina.

Losses include top points scorer Ed Koehane (115 pts), one of three returnees to England, second five J’Andre Liebenberg to Hawke’s Bay, and first fives Ratunaisa Vatuinaruku (to Fiji) and Ben Patston (to Dunedin).

Gains include utility back Kayne Middleton from North Harbour, Canadians  D J Sears-Buru (prop), Wayde Hodgen (hooker), Ben Le Sage (mid field) and Ben Palmer (five eighths), Argentinians Gonzallo Angella (midfield) and Diego Biro (fullback) and English backs Cameron Keenan (halfback), Chris Perry (fullback), Joe Marston (midfield) and Callum Lines.

Last year’s NZ Heartland rep trio of front rowers Ralph Darling and Matt Duff and mid-fielder Lemi Masoe are back along with 2013 skipper Josh Clark (flanker), ex-Fiji and King Counry utility back Simeli Koniferedi and top try scorer Chris Talanoa.

Despite dropping the first two games to Wairarapa-Bush and South Canterbury last year North Otago bounced back to reach the Meads final in Ashburton, losing 26-20 after winning 19-18 at home in the qualifying rounds.

The Old Golds will clearly be a strong force again this season

North Otago Heartland Squad vs Buller

Forwards: 1 DJ Sears-Dura 2 Ralph Darling 3 Thomas Shields 4 Tom Rowe
5 Matt Mullins 6 Fale Pii 7 Matt Duff 8 Josh Clark (c)

Backs: 9 Robbie Smith 10 Stephen Fenemor 11 Diego Biro 12 Ekeroma Fauileoge
13 Lemi Masoe 14 Simeli Koniferedi 15 Tenina Fauileoge

Reserves: 16 Unga Kefu 17 Rob Mafileo 18 Will Keenan 19 Manu Taiti
20 Ben Palmer 21 Chris Talanoa 22 Joe Marston

Saturday 23 August, 2.30pm at Victoria Square, Westport

Played: 7, 2008-2012 (DNP 2013) | Buller wins: 0 | North Otago wins: 7
Last match: North Otago 22 Buller 15, 01.09.12 in Oamaru (HC)
Last Buller win: –
Biggest Buller score: 24 (24-37), 02.09.06 in Oamaru (P)
Biggest North Otago score: 51 (51-20), 18.08.07 in Oamaru (P)
Biggest differential: North Otago by 31 (51-20), 18.08.07 in Oamaru (P)
Head-to-head matches: BULLER – NORTH OTAGO
01.09.12 North Otago Buller 22 : 15
10.09.11 Buller North Otago 08 : 11
04.09.10 North Otago Buller 44 : 20
10.10.09 North Otago Buller 29 : 14
Last matches: BULLER
27.10.13 South Cant Buller 17 : 10
19.10.13 Wanganui Buller 30 : 40
12.10.13 Buller Mid Cant 13 : 31
05.10.13 Poverty Bay Buller 21 : 34
28.09.13 Buller Wairarapa 03 : 13
21.09.13 Horowhenua Buller 15 : 19
14.09.13 Buller East Coast 28 : 12
07.09.13 Thames Valley Buller 23 : 18
31.08.13 Buller Wanganui 15 : 11
24.08.13 West Coast Buller 23 : 17
Last matches: NORTH OTAGO
26.10.13 Mid Cant North Otago 26 : 20
19.10.13 North Otago Wairarapa 48 : 34
12.10.13 North Otago Horowhenua 27 : 22
05.10.13 West Coast North Otago 22 : 32
28.09.13 North Otago Wanganui 27 : 15
21.09.13 Poverty Bay North Otago 18 : 53
14.09.13 North Otago Mid Cant 19 : 18
07.09.13 East Coast North Otago 23 : 25
31.08.13 South Cant North Otago 21 : 15
24.08.13 North Otago Wairarapa 18 : 20



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