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PREVIEW: Hawke's Bay v Tasman

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Friday, September 23, 2016    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

Form: Tasman have had a patchy season and after losing to Otago, and managing to scramble a win over Northland they could do with some consistency in their bid to gain the best possible finish to their season. Hawke's Bay are the next test for them and at only five points astray at the bottom of the table, they represent a crucial scalp. Hawke's Bay struggled to get into winning touch until last week's win over Southland and know a win over Tasman could ease their cause. In such close competitiveness bonus points become crucial and Tasman have only scored one to date.

Played: 8

Wins: Hawke's Bay 2, Tasman 6

Last match: Hawke's Bay 15 Tasman 35, 2014

Teams:

Hawke's Bay: 1.Ricky Riccitelli, 2.Ash Dixon, 3.Ben May, 4.Geoff Cridge, 5.Mark Abbott, 6.Trent Boswell Wakefield, 7.Tony Lamborn, 8.Faaelemiga Selesele, 9.Brad Weber, 10.Ihaia West, 11.Mason Emerson, 12.Tiaan Falcon, 13.Robbie Fruean, 14.Jonah Lowe, 15.Matt Garland.

Substitutes: 16.Jorian Tanagaere, 17.Jason Long, 18.Tolu Fahamokioa, 19.Ross Filipo, 20.Ben Hamelink, 21.Chris Eaton, 22.Billy Ropiha, 23.Ryan Tongia.

Tasman: 1.Kane Hames, 2.Andrew Makalio, 3.Ross Geldenhuys, 4.Alex Ainley, 5.Quinten Strange, 6.Tevita Koloamatangi, 7.Shane Christie, 8.Peter Samu, 9.Billy Guyton, 10.Marty Banks, 11.Caleb Makene, 12.David Havili, 13.Kieron Fonotia, 14.Tima Faingaanuku, 15.Mitchell Hunt.

Substitutes: 16.Jesse MacDonald, 17.Tim Perry, 18.Siosiua Halanukonuka, 19.Shannon Frizell, 20.Ethan Blackadder, 21.Finlay Christie, 22.Alex Nankivell, 23.Traell Joass.

Squad Update: Hawke's Bay have stuck with the tried and true which is understandable given their position at the foot of the table. For Tasman, Alex Ainley returns to the fray this week after a broken hand suffered in the first round has kept him out of action. It will see him work with NZ Under-20 lock Quinten Strange. Still not available are wing James Lowe and lock Pari Pari Parkinson while No.8 Vern Fredericks has been ruled out for the season after an operation on a damaged thumb ligament. Hawke's Bay have named an experienced side

Key Players: A fascinating battle to gain control of this game will make significant demands of both forward packs. Each has their strengths with Shane Christie a key man in the loose for Tasman and up against another significant competitor in Tony Lamborn. Trent Boswell Wakefield shapes as a handy blindside flanker and up against him for Tasman will be Tevita Koloamatangi. Both front rows are strong on experience so there are all the hallmarks of control up front going a long way towards setting up victory. Tasman inside backs Billy Guyton and Marty Banks are a crafty pair yet Brad Weber and Ihaia West are equally handily equipped in what should be a fascinating contest all round.