MEDIA RELEASE28 September 2018
Yarrows Taranaki coach Willie Rickards is building on last weekend’s performance after naming an unchanged starting line up to play North Harbour in New Plymouth on Saturday evening.
Despite narrowly losing to Auckland 31-30 at Yarrow Stadium, the highest number of points Auckland has conceded all year, Rickards said he wants to build on the positive performance by staying with the same XV – for the first time this season.
“It’s great to be able to name an unchanged XV. As a result, we would expect to see a more cohesive performance”.
Rickards said he was thrilled by the return of first five-eighth Stephen Perofeta, who returned after recovering from a shoulder injury.
“He has so much to offer the side and his return was evident with his awareness and ability to control the backline” he said.
Captain Mitchell Crosswell, Tom Florence and Pita Sowakula all carried strongly, according to Rickards and will look to challenge the North Harbour defence.
Seta Tamanivalu was also a threat last weekend and will team up with Teihorangi Walden in the midfield once more.
There have been some slight changes on the reserves bench, including the return of Jesse Parete from suspension.
Rickards has stuck with the same front row reserves and remains with Under 19 lock Tupou Va’ai, who gained his first cap last weekend.
Logan Crowley suffered a concussion last weekend which means New Zealand U20 representative Xavier Roe fills his place on the bench.
Ciarhan Matoe and Brayton Northcott-Hill will retain their positions in the reserves.
Gates open at 2:15pm, with the Port Taranaki Whio host the Otago Spirit in the latest round of the Farah Palmer Cup kicking off at 2:35pm.
Tickets start at $20 for adults and $5 for children and are available from gates one and four or www.trfu.co.nz
Yarrows Taranaki Bulls to play North Harbour, Saturday, 5:05pm;
Unavailable due to All Black duties: Beauden Barrett, Scott Barrett, Jordie Barrett, Waisake Nahalo, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Angus Ta'avao.
Not available for this game: Kane Thompson (hamstring), Lachlan Boshier (shoulder), Toa Halafihi (shoulder), Daniel Waite (shoulder) and Logan Crowley (concussion).
Season ending injuries: Bradley Slater (back), Mitchell Graham (leg), Fin Hoeata (shoulder), Mitchell Brown (knee), Sean Wainui (shoulder), Kiniviliame Naholo (ankle), Marty McKenzie (hip).
For more information, please contact;
TRFU Media Manager
Article added: Friday 28 September 2018