Auckland team named to face Tasman

Auckland coach Nick White has named an almost un-changed line up to face Tasman at Eden Park this Thursday.

A shoulder injury to Taleni Seu sees Michael Fatialofa come into the starting line up at lock and Liaki Moli move to blindside flanker.

“Taleni has injured his shoulder but Michael (Fatialofa) returns,” said White.

“We are losing an out and out loose forward but Liaki has played quite a bit there this year. Also having that experience on the field when we are playing Tasman is important because they have a good forward pack.”

White said the 54-17 victory over Otago on Saturday was a confidence builder for the team.

“It was really important that we played well because in reality we hadn’t put a performance out all year.

“It just showed when they get the detail right, play to the structure and back themselves, they can play some bloody good footy,” said White. 

With only two games remaining White said a victory at home is important.

“We need to make sure we win on Thursday and collect some points to give ourselves a chance to make the semifinals. Tasman are in the same boat as us, they need to confirm their top four place as well so the match will have a bit of heat in it.

Greg Pleasants-Tate and Joe Edwards remain unavailable through injury.

Auckland team to play Tasman
1.    Sam Prattley (Pakuranga)
2.    Kurt Eklund (University)
3.    Marcel Renata (University)
4.    Scott Scrafton (Grammar TEC)
5.    Michael Fatialofa (Ponsonby)
6.    Liaki Moli (Manukau Rovers)
7.    Akira Ioane (Ponsonby)
8.    Steven Luatua (University)
9.    Jono Hickey (Grammar TEC)
10.    Simon Hickey (Grammar TEC)
11.    Pryor Collier (Ponsonby)
12.    Vince Aso (Ponsonby)
13.    Rieko Ioane (Ponsonby)
14.    Lolagi Visinia (Suburbs)
15.    Melani Nanai (Manukau Rovers)

16.    Blake Hill (Eden)
17.    Tom McHugh (Grammar TEC)
18.    James Lay (Pakuranga)
19.    Ben Nee Nee (Pakuranga)
20.    Josh Kaifa (Manukau Rovers)
21.    Leon Fukofuka (Marist)
22.    Liam Steel (University)
23.    Latiume Fosita (Papatoetoe)

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