Tuesday 15 March | FMG Stadium Waikato
Hurricanes Poua v Waitomo Chiefs Manawa, 3:35pm
Referee: Maggie Cogger-Orr
Assistant Referee: Tiana Ngawati & Taneika Uerata
nib Blues v Matatū, 7:05pm
Referee: Lauren Jenner
Assistant Referees: Larissa Collingwood & Estelle Whaiapu
Covid-19 cases and isolation requirements kept the Hurricanes Poua and nib Blues out of round one action in Sky Super Rugby Aupiki, but they make their much-anticipated debut at FMG Stadium Waikato on Tuesday.
The Poua come up against a solid Waitomo Chiefs Manawa outfit in their opener, with the Manawa coming off a first round win against Matatū.
Hurricanes Poua skipper Sarah Hirini starts at openside and coach Wes Clarke is excited to see some of the young up-and-comers make their mark on the competition alongside the seasoned campaigners.
“Players like Kaipo Olsen-Baker come back from a serious ACL injury when she was certainly one of the rising stars of New Zealand rugby. Gossy [Sarah Hirini] is back playing 15s for the first time since the World Cup in 2017, so it will be great to see her back on the park.”
In the second match, the nib Blues host Matatū, who almost pulled off a remarkable comeback on Thursday night.
Coach Willie Walker said his side are excited and eager to get out in the Blues jersey and represent Blue pride.
“It’s been a long time coming. We understand the situation and now things are in our hands. We have put in the world and now we need to make sure we are mentally on-song to produce things on the park. We know we have not had any lead-up games, but we are just pleased that this is our chance to shine.”
All teams consist of 25 players to allow for rolling subs, and the halves are 35 minutes each, to ensure player safety, given limited build up due to Covid-19 isolation requirements.
Hurricanes Poua: 1. Leilani Perese 2. Jayme Nuku 3. Marilyn Live 4. Rachael Rakatau 5. Joanah Ngan-Woo 6. Layla Sae 7. Sarah Hirini © 8. Kaipo Olsen-Baker 9. Iritana Hohaia 10. Carys Dallinger 11. Ayesha Leti-I’iga 12. Monica Tagoai 13. Janna Vaughan 14. Cheyelle Robins-Reti 15. Selica Winiata
Reserves: 16. Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate 17. Ngano Tavake 18. Esther Tilo-Faiaoga 19. Kahurangi Sturmey 20. Sam Tipene 21. Ana Afuie 22. Rhiarna Ferris 23. Teilah Ferguson 24. Crystal Mayes 25. Rangimarie Sturmey
Waitomo Chiefs Manawa: 1. Angel Mulu 2. Luka Connor 3. Tanya Kalounivale 4. Victoria Edmomds 5. Harono Te Iringa 6. Pia Tapsell 7. Les Elder © 8. Kennedy Simon 9. Ariana Bayler 10. Kelly Brazier 11. Langi Veainu 12. Renee Wickliffe 13. Carla Hohepa 14. Portia Woodman 15. Hazel Tubic
Reserves: 16. Merania Paraone 17. Awhina Tangen-Wainohu 18. Santo Taumata 19. Mia Anderson 20. JayJay Taylor 21. Tynealle Fitzgerald 22. Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu 23. Georgia Daals 24. Chelsea Semple 25. Ruby Tui
nib Blues: 1. Krystal Murray 2. Rebecca Todd 3. Aldora Itunu 4. Cindy Nelles 5. Maiakawanakaulani Roos 6. Shannon Leota 7. Tafito Lafaele 8. Liana Mikaele-Tu’u 9. Melanie Puckett 10. Patricia Maliepo 11. Natahlia Moors 12. Ruahei Demant © 13. Theresa Fitzpatrick 14. Shyanne Thompson 15. Tyla Nathan-Wong
Reserves: 16. Chryss Viliko 17. Olivia Ward-Duin 18. Marie-Cilia Po’e-Tofaeono 19. Sophie Fisher 20. Vineta Teutau 21. Tenaija Fletcher 22. Krystal Cottrell 23. Mele Hufunga 24. Sam Curtis 25. Princess Elliot
Matatū: 1. Pip Love 2. Georgia Ponsonby 3. Amy Rule 4. Michaela Leonard 5. Chelsea Bremner 6. Lucy Jenkins 7. Kendra Reynolds 8. Alana Bremner © 9. Di Hiini 10. Arabella McKenzie 11. Grace Steinmetz 12. Liv McGoverne 13. Amy du Plessis 14. Martha Mataele 15. Renee Holmes
Reserves: 16. Steph Te Ohaere-Fox 17. Lucy Anderson 18. Ashley Palu 19. Natalie Delamere 20. Julia Gorinski 21. Rosie Kelly 22. Terauoriwa Gapper 23. Kilisitina Vea 24. Tayla Simpson 25. Greer Muir