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Thursday 10 March, 7:05pm

FMG Stadium Waikato

Referee: Maggie Cogger-Orr

Assistant Referees: Larissa Collingwood & Estelle Whaiapu

Covid-19 cases and isolation within the Hurricanes Poua squad this week has meant their opening round clash with the nib Blues has been cancelled. Both teams will split the points.

The Chiefs Manawa and Matatū played in the first pre-season fixture last weekend in Taupō, with the Manawa holding off a fightback from Matatū to win 28-20. It was the Chiefs who got off to a flying start, running out to a 21-3 early lead. But the South Island side fought back hard in the second half.

Matatū head coach Blair Baxter referred to the pre-season fixture as a high tempo game and is expecting a similar clash on Thursday.

“They’ll obviously be learning and getting sharper, and we are just working to make sure we do the same.”

The Matatū side also features Wallaroos back Arabella McKenzie, who is set to come off the bench.

Chiefs Manawa head coach Allan Bunting said his side are excited to make history and the pre-season fixture was advantageous for preparations.

“It was great to finally play a game and have something to build off. In what’s been a challenging lead into this competition, it is great to be able to get some quality time together.”

It will be an all-female referee team that officiate the first match. Maggie Cogger-Orr will officiate, with Larissa Collingwood and Estelle Whaiapu her assistants. Lee Jeffrey is the TMO.

The match will be live on Sky Sport NZ and delayed on Prime NZ.


Chiefs Manawa: 1. Angel Mulu 2. Luka Connor 3. Tanya Kalounivale 4. Victoria Edmomds 5. Harono Te Iringa 6. Pia Tapsell 7. Les Elder © 8. Kennedy Simon 9. Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu 10. Kelly Brazier 11. Ruby Tui 12. Carla Hohepa 13. Georgia Daals 14. Portia Woodman 15. Hazel Tubic

Reserves: 16. Merania Paraone 17. Awhina Tangen-Wainohu 18. Santo Taumata 19. Mia Anderson 20. JayJay Taylor 21. Tynealle Fitzgerald 22. Maia Joseph 23. Langi Veainu

Matatū: 1. Pip Love 2. Georgia Ponsonby 3. Amy Rule 4. Michaela Leonard 5. Chelsea Bremner 6. Alana Bremner © 7. Lucy Jenkins 8. Marcelle Parkes 9. Di Hiini 10. Terauoriwa Gapper 11. Grace Steinmetz 12. Liv McGoverne 13. Amy du Plessis 14. Martha Mataele 15. Renee Holmes

Reserves: 16. Steph Te Ohaere-Fox 17. Lucy Anderson 18. Ashley Palu 19. Greer Muir 20. Julia Gorinski 21. Rosie Kelly 22. Arabella McKenzie 23. Kilisitina Vea 24. Tayla Simpson 25. Isabella Waterman

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