Counties Manukau Steelers team named to play Otago

DateThu, 06 Oct 2016

Steelers coaches Darryl Suasua, Grant Henson and Semo Sititi have named their side to take on Otago in their Mitre 10 Cup fixture at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Saturday at 5:35pm. 


There’s just the one forced change to the starting side, with halfback Richard Judd coming in for Augustine Pulu who is serving a one-week suspension.


On the bench, Onosa’i Auva’a is unable to play due to concussion, so Joshua Dowsing comes onto the pine and is in line to make his Steelers debut. New Zealand Under 20’s halfback Jonathan Taumateine comes onto the bench, while Joe Reynolds and Toni Pulu also come into the match-day 23.


Assistant coach Grant Henson said having Toni Pulu return to the side from a finger injury is a bonus.


“With Toni, his finger can’t get any worse, he can’t do anymore damage. His thinking is he may as well play and we weren’t expecting him back at all this season, so he’s a class player and of course we want him in the 23.”


With Augustine Pulu out this week, Henson knows Richard Judd and Jonathan Taumateine will step up in his absence.


“Those two boys are class as well and they have been doing a lot of work this season. When they have been given their opportunities, they have done their job. Obviously Augustine is a massive loss, he is one of our leaders, our co-captain and also a spiritual leader as well. He’s been playing really well and he is probably the form halfback of the comp, but equally we are excited about the other two.


“We have to bounce back strong after the loss against Tasman. We have to take the positives out of that game. Otago had 50 odd points put on them by Auckland so they’ll be smarting a bit and they are back at their so called fortress so we are expecting it to be tough. They’ll come out physical and they like to play with a bit of width as well. We just have to make the most of our opportunities.”


The Steelers final home game of the regular season is a big one against Canterbury at ECOLight Stadium on Saturday 15 October at 2:35pm. Tickets for that match are available for purchase at the CMRFU Office at ECOLight Stadium during office hours (Monday-Friday, 8.30am-5pm) or at or at the Gate on game day. In the Grandstand, Adults cost $20, Students $15 and Kids $10. Kids 13 & Under are FREE on the South Auckland Motors Embankment thanks to Pak ‘n’ Save Pukekohe.


Steelers team to face Otago:

1.       Sean Bagshaw

2.       Gafatasi Su’a

3.       Kalolo Tuiloma

4.       Viliame Rarasea

5.       Matiaha Martin

6.       Jimmy Tupou ©

7.       Jordan Taufua

8.       Sootala Fa’aso’o

9.       Richard Judd

10.   Piers Francis

11.   Sherwin Stowers

12.   Cardiff Vaega

13.   Sam Vaka

14.   Sione Fifita

15.   Luteru Laulala


16.   Hikawera Elliot

17.   Pauliasi Manu

18.   Sione Faletau

19.   Matt Vaai

20.   Joshua Dowsing *

21.   Jonathan Taumateine

22.   Joe Reynolds

23.   Toni Pulu


*Steelers debut

Richard Spranger - Photo Credit