October 24, 2020

Match ups galore for Chiefs Country Cup challenge in Hamilton

The Waikato Mooloos & Taranaki Bulls are set for a huge Round Seven clash at FMG Stadium Waikato this Sunday (October 25) at 4.35pm. Plenty of Gallagher Chiefs will go head to head in what is bound to be an entertaining clash between the two Chiefs Country provincial unions.

The Chiefs Country Cup will be on the line which the Taranaki Bulls currently hold after defeating the Bay of Plenty Steamers earlier this season.

Five changes have been made to the Taranaki Bulls side to face Waikato.

Minor injuries to No 8 Pita Gus Sowakula and second five-eighth Daniel Waite sees Kaylum Boshier return to the starting forward pack while Tukapa’s Lukas Halls will start in the No 12 jersey.

Taranaki Bulls coach Willie Rickards has also made several tweaks to the run-on side with halfback Lisati Milo-Harris returning along with experienced loose forward Mitchell Crosswell.

The latter’s return sees captain Mitchell Brown move into the second row to partner young Coastal lock Josh Lord while further experience has been added to the backline with Codey Rei named on the left wing.

Rei’s inclusion sees Lewis Ormond named on the bench while New Plymouth Old Boys midfielder Brayton Northcott-Hill is added to the 23-man squad.

Club-mate Tom Florence also returns to the squad after he has recovered from a back injury. Gallagher Chief Sean Wainui is set to bring up his 50th match for the Taranaki Bulls.

Waikato head coach, Andrew Strawbridge, has made several changes to his matchday 23. Changes to the front row have Ollie Norris and Sefo Kautai trading places with Rob Cobb and Josh Iosefa-Scott.

In the loose forwards Luke Jacobson will celebrate a milestone, playing openside flanker in his blazer game. With Jacobson moving in one spot, Liam Messam, has been named at number 8 for his first start of the 2020 season.

In the backs, there is a new halves and centre pairing. Cortez Ratima starts at halfback with Fletcher Smith returning to start at first five eight. Smith’s return means Rivez Reihana moves to the reserves for this match.

Matty Lansdown has been named at second five eight and Bailyn Sullivan at centre to make up the new midfield combination.

The final change to the backs has Valynce Te Whare returning to the starting XV and will play on the left wing.

In the reserves, Sekope Lopeti-Moli is set to make his first appearance in 2020 and Hugo Nankivell has his chance to make his third appearance for the province.

Finally, Fraser Tech halfback, Rhys Dickinson, has a chance to make his provincial debut

This Sunday FMG Stadium Waikato will play hosts to a double header. The University of Waikato: Waikato Women will host Manawatu Cyclones in a Farah Palmer Cup semi-final in game one at 2.05pm, followed by the Waikato men facing Taranaki in the Mitre 10 Cup as the game two. kick off 4.35pm.

Line-ups are as follows:

1. Ollie Norris
2. Samisoni Taukei’aho
3. Sefo Kautai
4. Hamilton Burr
5. Samipeni Finau
6. Adam Thomson
7. Luke Jacobson - Captain
8. Liam Messam
9. Cortez Ratima
10. Fletcher Smith
11. Valynce Te Whare
12. Matty Lansdown
13. Bailyn Sullivan
14. Liam Coombes-Fabling
15. Beaudein Waaka

16. Sekope Lopeti-Moli
17. Rob Cobb
18. Josh Iosefa-Scott
19. James Thompson
20. Hugo Nankivell
21. Rhys Dickinson
22. Rivez Reihana
23. Gideon Wrampling

1. Jared Proffit
2. Ricky Riccitelli
3. Reuben O’Neill
4. Josh Lord
5. Mitchell Brown ©
6. Mitchell Crosswell
7. Lachlan Boshier
8. Kaylum Boshier
9. Lisati Milo-Harris
10. Stephen Perofeta
11. Codey Rei
12. Lukas Halls
13. Sean Wainui
14. Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens
15. Jayson Potroz

16. Bradley Slater
17. Chris Gawler
18. Donald Brighouse
19. Findlamor Hoeata
20. Tom Florence
21. Warwick Lahmert
22. Brayton Northcott-Hill
23. Lewis Ormond

Match ups galore for Chiefs Country Cup challenge in Hamilton