April 05, 2024

Hazel Tubic’s return bolsters Chiefs Manawa side

Chiefs Manawa head to Christchurch for their final match of the regular season against Matatū this Saturday.

The team is building continuity as they head into the Sky Super Rugby Aupiki final next week with notable combinations cemented across the park.

International experience is abundant in the front row with props Kate Henwood and Tanya Kalounivale joined by Japan’s Seina Saito at hooker. Waikato’s Chyna Hohepa will start at lock alongside Charmaine Smith who sits second on the competition table for lineouts won (18).

The strong loose forward combination of Mia Anderson, Kennedy Simon and Victoria Edmonds returns. Rotating back to the starting halfback role is Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu, with Chelsea Semple back at No.10. Returning from injury, Hazel Tubic will support at first five with her season debut off the bench.

In the midfield will be the dynamic Grace Steinmetz and Mererangi Paul, with the starting team completed by an electric backline of Reese Anderson, Ruby Tui and Renee Holmes.

Chiefs Manawa head coach Crystal Kaua said: “Hazel is a massive addition to our squad. To be bringing someone with her game smarts and ability to play what's in front off our bench is exciting.

“We have had to use our whole squad this year and our impact players have been coming on and delivering and changing the game week in and week out.

“Matatū will come out firing this weekend so we really want to see our team put out a performance that we are all proud of, a team game, where we are playing for each other.”

The match kicks off at 4.05pm at Ngā Puna Wai Sports Centre and will be broadcast live on Sky Sport.

Chiefs Manawa team to face Matatū:
1. Kate Henwood
2. Seina Saito
3. Tanya Kalounivale
4. Chyna Hohepa
5. Charmaine Smith
6. Mia Anderson
7. Kennedy Simon (Captain)
8. Victoria Edmonds
9. Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu
10. Chelsea Semple
11. Reese Anderson
12. Grace Steinmetz
13. Mererangi Paul
14. Ruby Tui
15. Renee Holmes

16. Vici-Rose Green
17. Krystal Murray
18. Bitila Tawake
19. Grace Kukutai
20. Ashlee Gaby-Sutherland
21. Ariana Bayler
22. Hazel Tubic
23. Azalleyah Maaka

Unavailable for selection: Luka Connor and Chelsea Bremner.

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Hazel Tubic’s return bolsters Chiefs Manawa side