Valley hopes for Paeroa three-peat
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.