Greig back for Tas­man

Marlborough Express - - SPORT - WAYNE MARTIN

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.

PHILLIP ROLLO/STUFF

Pete Samu has been given the Makos’ No 8 jer­sey for Saturday’s clash with Coun­ties Manukau in Pukekohe.

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