Premier Div 1 Kickoff

Counties Manukau Steelers team named to play Waikato

DateWed, 21 Sep 2016

Steelers coaches Darryl Suasua, Grant Henson and Semo Sititi have named their side to take on Waikato in their Mitre 10 Cup fixture at ECOLight Stadium, Pukekohe this Friday night at 7:35pm. 


There is just one shuffle around in the forward pack, with lock Matiaha Martin returning to the starting 15 and Matt Vaai on the bench. With Martin’s return, co-captain Jimmy Tupou drops back to blindside flanker.


However, there’s some excitement on the bench, with the long-awaited return of prop Pauliasi Manu. The 28-year old missed the majority of the Super Rugby season with the Chiefs after rupturing his Achilles tendon back in March. Steelers head coach Darryl Suasua said it’s great to have Pauliasi back.


“We are thrilled to have Pauliasi in the mix and he’s really excited. He’s a bit like Onosa’i Auva’a to be honest, when he came on the field at the weekend he was like a wound up spring, even the boys on the field came off and said what the heck he was just a fire cracker. That’s the frustration of not being on the field and then suddenly being able to play, the guys get excited and Pauliasi is no different.”


Also on the bench, All Blacks hooker Hika Elliot returns from injury, while Richard Judd, Nathan de Thierry and Joe Ikenasio come into the 23. Suasua said they will all be valuable inclusions, when they come up against a strong Waikato side on Friday night.


“We enjoy the Battle of the Bombays. I don’t really know who the big brothers are between Auckland and Waikato, but whatever way it goes we always seem to be the little brothers. I guess because they have Super Rugby franchise bases. We need to prove a point against Waikato and we’ll be doing everything we can to get the win at home in front of our fans at ECOLight Stadium.”


It's Charity Round this week for the Counties Manukau Steelers and we are proud to be supporting the Salvation Army in Pukekohe. Cameron Skelton and Nathan de Thierry went along to the Pukekohe Food Bank on Monday and learnt about what the Salvation Army does to help out in the community. Please keep an eye out for collection bins and buckets on Friday night. Any support for the Pukekohe Salvation Army would be greatly appreciated. We would also like to thank Barfoot & Thompson who are the Match Day Sponsors. Tickets for Friday’s 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. Gates open at 4:45pm, with the Under 18 City vs Country curtain raiser kicking off at 5:30pm.


Steelers team to face Waikato:

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.       Augustine Pulu ©

10.   Piers Francis

11.   Sherwin Stowers

12.   Cardiff Vaega

13.   Sam Vaka

14.   Sione Fifita

15.   Luteru Laulala


16.   Hika Elliot

17.   Pauliasi Manu

18.   Sione Faletau

19.   Matt Vaai

20.   Onosa’i Auva’a

21.   Richard Judd

22.   Nathan de Thierry

23.   Joe Ikenasio


Richard Spranger - Photo Credit