April 11, 2018

Gallagher Chiefs team named for Hurricanes clash

The Gallagher Chiefs face the Hurricanes this weekend in Wellington, the only New Zealand conference team the Gallagher Chiefs have yet to play so far this season. Both teams come into it with one opening round loss each, and five consecutive wins each.

Head Coach Colin Cooper says that the team is in a good space for this upcoming challenge.

“There is real clarity, consistency of game plan and of selection, and competition going on in the group. When you combine all of that with winning, it gives you confidence.

Looking at our first game, we didn’t respond well to the pressure that the Crusaders put on us, whereas last week in the Blues game, we didn’t panic, our leaders took control and we just dug out a win against a dangerous Blues team. That was a big change for us to see as coaches.”

Cooper has made just two changes to the starting fifteen this week, with Taleni Seu back at number 8, and Co-Captain Charlie Ngatai resuming action at fullback, with Solomon Alaimalo moving to the wing in place of the injured Toni Pulu. Alex Nankivell is on the bench again this week after a return from having his appendix removed.

Cooper is aware of what the Hurricanes can bring.

“Strategically, we understand that they are very expansive, with a good kicking and running game. We need to have the confidence to play our game when we have the ball. It’s important to do the work in the week and then when it comes to the game to be calm and controlled about it.”

The Gallagher Chiefs team to take on the Hurricanes is:
1. Aidan Ross (12)
2. Nathan Harris (37)
3. Angus Ta’avao-Matau (6)
4. Brodie Retallick (90)
5. Tyler Ardron (4) / Michael Allardice (24)
6. Lachlan Boshier (25)
7. Sam Cane (co-captain) (101)
8. Taleni Seu (33)
9. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (6)
10. Damian McKenzie (56) / Marty McKenzie (11)
11. Solomon Alaimalo (15)
12. Johnny Faauli (12)
13. Anton Lienert-Brown (46)
14. Sean Wainui (6)
15. Charlie Ngatai (co-captain) (45)

16. Liam Polwart (12)
17. Karl Tu’inukuafe (5)
18. Jeff Thwaites (3)
19. Luke Jacobson (3)
20. Liam Messam (168)
21. Jonathan Taumateine (7)
22. Marty McKenzie (11) / Tiaan Falcon (2)
23. Alex Nankivell (6)

Gallagher Chiefs team named for Hurricanes clash