Val­ley hopes for Paeroa three-peat

Hauraki Herald - - SPORT -

The Thames Val­ley rugby team has a home match for round six of the Mitre 10 Heart­land Cham­pi­onship against Mid Can­ter­bury at Paeroa Do­main.

The vis­i­tors from Ash­bur­ton have fash­ioned an en­vi­able record in the Heart­land com­pe­ti­tion hav­ing made the Meads Cup fi­nal four times, beat­ing North Otago in 2013 and Buller in 2014. They have a strong base of lo­cal play­ers and ac­cess to qual­ity loan play­ers most sea­sons. Thames Val­ley and Mid Can­ter­bury have met eight times in the Heart­land com­pe­ti­tion with Mid Can­ter­bury win­ning five and Thames Val­ley three.

The point of in­ter­est is that they have only met twice in Paeroa and Thames Val­ley won on both oc­ca­sions, 31-17 in 2012 and 20-15 in 2014. The close na­ture of this year’s com­pe­ti­tion means that Thames Val­ley has to do well again this week to main­tain a top four spot while the ex­pe­ri­enced Mid Can­ter­bury team will have the same goals in mind. Coach Matthew Bartleet has an­nounced the 22 to take on Mid Can­ter­bury at the Paeroa Do­main: S Topou, H Wis­newski, G Le­lenoa, A Car­roll, K Lewis, B Ranga, R Moloney, A Bradley, J Wood, C Doak, R Vosay­aco, S Hill, S McCa­hon, T Keith, H Lafi­tu­a­nai. Re­serves: E Roy­croft, T Scott, T Erceg, MHart, B Bon­nar, B Hamil­ton, J Law.

The Thames Val­ley de­vel­op­ment side has its fi­nal game of the sea­son in a non com­pe­ti­tion game against Waikato Un­der 85kgs at the Paeroa Do­main in the 12.15pm cur­tain-raiser.

Coach Peter O’Con­nor has named the fol­low­ing play­ers from his cham­pi­onship win­ning squad for the game: C Hutchins, R Dare, B Nightin­gale, R Chris­tini, M Rol­ston, L Matai –Povey, S Ouchi, D Horne, S Wise, J Goodall, J Baker, J Hill, L Eas­ton, T Uile­latata , D Robin­son. Re­serves: E Byles, H Wick­liffe, F Ains­ley, J Gifkin, P Solomon, R Tobin.

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