Greig back for Tasman
The Tasman women’s rugby team will field all of their attacking weapons for the first time this season in Saturday’s Farah Palmer Cup clash with Hawke’s Bay at Trafalgar Park.
It’s Tasman’s final game of the series and their last chance to secure a win in their debut season. Their hopes of beating fellow championship stragglers Hawke’s Bay have been significantly boosted by the return from injury of dynamic centre Wairakau Greig.
She joins Tasman’s other key attacking assets, first five-eighth Risi Pouri-Lane, winger Jess Drummond and fullback Sydnee Wilkins, in a potent backline mix for Saturday’s clash.
Unavailability and injury at various times to different players has previously denied Tasman the chance to field their strongest backline.
Tasman had also targeted North Harbour last Sunday in Nelson as a potential scalp but a combination of wet conditions, poor tactics and handling errors conspired to hand Harbour a 25-12 win.
According to Tasman forward coach Mark Kelly, Tasman didn’t play ‘‘smart’’.
‘‘We played too much rugby. We should have just kept on kicking it to the corners and then played rugby but we tried playing it from our 10-yard line which is way too narrow. They’ll know next time,’’ Kelly said.
Still, Kelly said that the team’s confidence levels were high and their determination clearly evident to perform in front of their home supporters.
‘‘I’m very confident, the whole team’s confident. The fact that we’ll finally get what we’d call our best backline out there lifts everyone as well.’’
Props Naomi Tiumalu and Ashley Ulutupu have also earned starts this week as the only changes to a forward pack that’s been together for the entire campaign.
They’ll complement the mobility already provided by No 8 and captain Jess Foster, flankers Kelly Stanford and Tamara Silcock, lock Hannah Gillespie and hooker Steph Mitchell although the forwards’ main focus will be establishing a solid attacking platform for their backs.
The game kicks off at 2.30pm.
Pete Samu has been given the Makos’ No 8 jersey for Saturday’s clash with Counties Manukau in Pukekohe.