Preview: Manawatu ($1.42) v BOP ($2.70) – BET NOW
odds as at 3.20pm 03/09/14
Three consecutive losses, the injuries and now the loss of Sam Cane and Nathan Harris to the All Blacks is the background to tonight’s clash with Manawatu in Palmerston North. So dire are the defections that captain Cullum Retalick is the only forward remaining in the same position from Sunday’s 41-3 hiding at the hands of Taranaki. Coach Kevin Schuler is a former Manawatu All Black but there’ll be no sentiment when it comes to trying to crack the duck on his old home ground tonight.
Manawatu, according to coach Jason O’Halloran, had an “off night” when they were thrashed by Auckland in round two, but they bounced back emphatically last Friday when they inflicted further pain on a hapless Wellington. Not surprising O’Halloran has stayed very close to the players who did the job for him in the capital city.
Wednesday 3 September, 7.35pm at FMG Stadium, Palmerston North
Played: 28, 1951-2010 (DNP 2011/12/13)
Manawatu wins: 9 | Bay of Plenty wins: 17 | Draws: 2
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Manawatu -6.5 $2.00 v BOP +6.5 $2.00
Bet Now odds as at 3.20pm 03/09/14
Squad update: Manawatu’s giant killing exploits over Wellington has meant that the team remains largely intact for this clash.
Halfback Jamie Booth retains his spot after performing well against the Lions, and his partnership with sharpshooting first five-eighth Otere Black, who kicked six from seven last week, will be key.
Bay of Plenty, under pressure without a victory so far in 2014, had little to be enthusiastic about with just one Dan Hollinshead penalty to show for their efforts against Taranaki last week.
Head coach Kevin Schuler is without Highlanders prop Kane Hames, and requires an urgent repair job on his team’s defence, after they have conceded 136 points in three matches.
1 Chris Eves, 2 Rob Foreman, 3 Ma’afu Fia, 4 Nick Crosswell, 5 Fraser Stone, 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 7 Callum Gibbins (captain), 8 Antonio Kiri Kiri, 9 Jamie Booth, 10 Otere Black, 11 Nathan Tudreu, 12 Hamish Northcott, 13 Jason Emery, 14 Newton Tudreu, 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder.
Reserves: Nick Grogan, 17 Hubert Buydens, 18 Keepa Mewett, 19 Tom Hughes, 20 Kayne Hammington, 21 Jade Te Rure, 22 Jaxon Tagavaitau
Bay of Plenty team:
1. Solomona Sakalia, 2. Joe Royal, 3. Siegfried Fisiihoi, 4. Culum Retallick, 5. Tim Bond, 6. Johan Bardoul, 7. Hamish Gosling, 8. Carl Axtens, 9. Jono Kitto, 10. Dan Hollinshead, 11. Junior Tofa Va’a, 12. Doug Edwards, 13. Saiosi Iongi, 14. Tino Nemani, 15. Byron McGuigan.
16. Vyron Smith, 17. Pingi Tala’apitanga, 18. Josh Sole, 19. Jesse Acton, 20. Te Aihe Toma, 21. Nic Evemy, 22. Leroy Van Dam