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Heartland XV come back to defeat Marist for third straight year

James Mortimer     09 Nov 2014    

Marist led 17-15 at halftime, and when the match entered the final quarter, the Heartland XV were still three converted tries behind before the fight back began.

It is the third year in a row the Heartland XV have defeated Marist.

A fine turnaround after the side – selected from the Pink Batts Heartland Championship – lost to Marist 15-14 in 2011, which was at the time was the third loss to the Heartland XV in three campaigns.

Head coach Kurt McQuilkin (King Country) and assistant 'Chester' Scott (South Canterbury) named a strong team for the Marists, selected from players in the ITM Cup or just within touching distance of the provincial competition.

Hooker Jon Sharpe from Mid Canterbury was ruled out of selection due to injury and Thames Valley’s Blake Hill was been brought in as replacement.

McQuilkin may amend his squad before the team departs for two matches against the Cook Islands on 11 and 14 of November in Rarotonga.

The hosts, ranked 46th in the IRB rankings, narrowly missed out on qualification for the 2015 Rugby World Cup and will present formidable opposition for the Heartland players.

More to follow (once we talk to the team from Rarotonga!)

The New Zealand Heartland XV team that played Marist:

1. Carl Carmichael King Country
2. Cole Baldwin Wanganui
3. Timaru Tafa South Canterbury
4. Craig Moore Buller
5. Andrew McLean Wairarapa Bush
6. Josh Clark North Otago
7. Peter Rowe (c) Wanganui
8. Jon Dampney Mid Canterbury
9. Jake Ashby Mid Canterbury
10. Whakataki Cunningham King Country
11. Nathan Hunt Wairarapa Bush
12. Peni Nabainivalu Buller
13. TK Moeke Poverty Bay
14. Brenton Connell Mid Canterbury
15. Sam Monaghan Wairarapa Bush
16. Blake Hill Thames Valley
17. Logan Mundy Buller
18. Andrew Smith Mid Canterbury
19. Lasa Ulukuta Wanganui
20. Andrew Stephens Buller
21. James Lash Buller
22. Ethine Reeves Poverty Bay