04 October 2018
The Counties Manukau PIC Steelers face an important game against North Harbour in the Round 9 Mitre-10 Cup clash at QBE Stadium in Albany this Saturday.
A win will go a long way to retaining a place in the Premiership for 2019 and go into their final game of the season, home to Canterbury, with plenty of confidence.
However Steelers coach Darryl Suasua and the team are not getting ahead of themselves.
“We need to win at Albany. It’s as simple as that.” Said Suasua.
“But it won’t be easy. North harbour have had five wins this season and are sitting just outside the top four. They’ll be keen to take maximum points of us. Especially at home.”
“To win we will need to be at our best. Our pack needs to dominate and out wide we need to back ourselves and be focused defensively. Harbour’s backline is one to respect.
In the front row Sean Bagshaw moves into the starting line-up replacing Howard Sililoto who will provide impact off the bench.
The rest of the pack remains unchanged from the Steelers previous match while in the backs Te Aihe Toma starts at halfback and Latiume Fosita gets the nod at first-five.
Nigel Ah Wong moves from the bench to Centre and for Wing Toni Pulu it’s a special occasion as the popular try-scorer will play is 50th match for the Steelers.
“It’s a big night for Toni.” Said Suasua. “He’s a special player and a great guy who simply loves the Steelers. All the boys want to mark this special occasion with a win.”
The Steelers team is:
1.Sean Bagshaw, 2. Joseph Royal, 3. Coree Te Whata-Colley, 4. Daymon Leasuasu, 5. Matiaha Martin ©, 6. Sikeli Nabou, 7. Fotu Lokotui, 8. Daniel Hyatt; 9. Te Aihe Toma, 10. Latiume Fosita, 11. Tevita Nabura, 12. Orbyn Leger, 13. Nigel Ah Wong, 14. Toni Pulu, 15. Etene Nanai-Seturo.
Reserves: 16. Gafatasi Su’a, 17. Howard Sililoto, 18. Suetena Asomua, 19. Viliame Rarasea, 20. Matthew Vaai, 21. Liam Daniela 22. Cardiff Vaega, 23. Luteru Laulala.