March 02, 2023

Waitomo Chiefs Manawa name a relatively unchanged side for round two

The Waitomo Chiefs Manawa have named a relatively unchanged side for round 2 of Sky Super Rugby Aupiki against the Blues.

"Our pack and set-piece won the game for us against the Poua, and our selection this week reflects that with only one change," said Waitomo Chiefs Manawa head coach Crystal Kaua.

"Our impact players are game changers and the power we have coming off our bench is a massive benefit for us. We know the Blues will be an arm wrestle, they love to play on top, and like us, they have some exciting young talent spread among some really experienced campaigners.

"We are working towards the endgame, and there is still a lot of mahi to do, but everyone is committed. There is an edge in camp, it’s competitive, but with love. Everyone is putting their hand up. This week we need to be both clinical and brutal."

Black Ferns Awhina Tangen-Wainohu and Angel Mulu return from injury to be named in the playing 23 this week. Tangen-Wainohu will add even further skill and experience to the front line alongside round one Wahine of the Match, Luka Connor, and Tanya Kalounivale.

The rookie backline trio of Azalleyah Maaka, Mererangi Paul and Tenika Willison is once again supported by the experience Carla Hohepa. Whilst the midfield continues with the continuity of players that are into their second season with the team.

Grace Houpapa-Barrett will bring impact off the bench alongside Mulu and last week’s debutant Kate Henwood. Also with a strong debut last week, loose forward Dhys Faleafaga will be looking to repeat her try-scoring form.

Support for the forwards will also be provided by Victoria Makea with Violet Hapi-Wise, Amanda Rasch and Apii Nicholls for the backs.

The match kicks off at 2.05pm this Saturday at North Harbour Stadium.

Waitomo Chiefs Manawa:
1. Awhina Tangen-Wainohu
2. Luka Connor
3. Tanya Kalounivale
4. Kelsie Thwaites
5. Chelsea Bremner
6. Charmaine Smith
7. Tynealle Fitzgerald
8. Kennedy Simon (C)
9. Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu (VC)
10. Hazel Tubic
11. Georgia Daals
12. Azalleyah Maaka
13. Carla Hohepa
14. Mererangi Paul
15. Tenika Willison

16. Grace Houpapa-Barrett
17. Angel Mulu
18. Kate Henwood
19. Dhys Faleafaga
20. Victoria Makea
21. Violet Hapi-Wise
22. Amanda Rasch*
23. Apii Nicholls

Unavailable for selection due to injury: Santo Taumata

Fixture information
Waitomo Chiefs Manawa vs Blues Women
Saturday 4 March
North Harbour Stadium, Auckland
Kick off: 2.05pm
Live: Sky Sport

Waitomo Chiefs Manawa name a relatively unchanged side for round two