Unchanged starting line-up for Yarrows Taranaki Bulls

Seta Tamanivalu was a stand out player last weekend again Auckland and will start again in the midfield against North Harbour

28 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;

  1. Chris Gawler
  2. Ricky Riccitelli
  3. Reuben O’Neill
  4. Jarrad Hoeata
  5. Leighton Price
  6. Pita Sowakula
  7. Tom Florence
  8. Mitchell Crosswell (cc)
  9. Brendon Leonard
  10. Stephen Perofeta
  11. Manasa Mataele
  12. Teihorangi Walden (cc)
  13. Seta Tamanivalu
  14. Regan Ware
  15. Beaudein Waaka


  1. Donald Maka
  2. Jared Proffit
  3. Kyle Stewart
  4. Tupou Va’ai
  5. Jesse Parete
  6. Xavier Roe
  7. Ciarhan Matoe
  8. Brayton Northcott-Hill

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).

Key Facts:

  • Taranaki was North Harbour’s fourth ever opponent when they first played in 1985
  • They have played 27 times – North Harbour has won 17 as apposed to Taranaki’s 10 victories
  • There would have been the first draw in 2010, but a side line conversion missed for the score to end up 49-47 to Taranaki – the amber and blacks’ last and largest win against them
  • In the same match, Taranaki scored their highest number of tries [6] in a match against North Harbour
  • North Harbour picked up their highest score in 1989 with a 76-16 win
  • Last year, North Harbour inflicted the heaviest defeat ever of a Ranfurly Shield holder with a 64-33 trouncing, which included 10 North Harbour tries
  • North Harbour’s biggest winning run was between 1988-1994 of six games
  • Taranaki’s biggest winning run is just three games between 2008-2010
  • North Harbour last played in New Plymouth in 2009
  • These two teams did not meet between 2011-2016


For more information, please contact;

Will Johnston

TRFU Media Manager



Article added: Friday 28 September 2018


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