Counties Manukau Steelers team named to play Taranaki

DateTue, 13 Sep 2016


Steelers coaches Darryl Suasua, Grant Henson and Semo Sititi have named their team to take on Taranaki in the Mitre 10 Cup at ECOLight Stadium in Pukekohe on Wednesday night at 7:35pm.


With the quick turnaround, there are a few changes to the side that narrowly lost to Wellington on Friday night. Matt Vaai comes into the starting 15 at blindside flanker, with Jimmy Tupou shifting back to lock. On the bench, Toni Pulu makes his return to Mitre 10 Cup rugby from a finger injury. Sione Anga’aelangi takes the hooker spot on the pine, with prop Sean Paranihi coming into the 23.


Darryl Suasua said that the majority of the side pulled up ok after Friday night, but there are a couple of minor niggles and they are resting Viliame Rarasea.


“Viliame could have played, but we didn’t want to risk him with his big work load. Matt Vaai missed most of the season with a shoulder reconstruction, so he was always a quality player that we knew was around and he has taken his chance at training over the last few weeks, where he has been brought in as injury cover.


It’s great that Toni Pulu is back in the mix this week. He has been working really hard and champing at the bit. He broke his finger and was expected to be out for the whole season, but he has recovered quicker than the surgeons thought.”


Suasua’s expecting Taranaki to be a huge challenge on Wednesday night.


“I believe as a team they are one of the best in this competition. They play really well as a team and they don’t seem to have a lot of weaknesses. They appear to be really well drilled and coached and I think that is why they are winning their games and why they are always at the top.”


Gates Open at 4:45pm on Wednesday 14 September, with Under 15 City vs Country the curtain raiser at 5:30pm. Tickets are available for purchase at the CMRFU Office at ECOLight Stadium during office hours 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 Taranaki:

1.       Sean Bagshaw

2.       Gafatasi Su’a

3.       Kalolo Tuiloma

4.       Matiaha Martin

5.       Jimmy Tupou ©

6.       Matt Vaai

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 Molia

15.   Luteru Laulala


16.   Sione Anga’aelangi

17.   Sean Paranihi

18.   Sione Faletau

19.   Cameron Skelton

20.   Viliami Taulani

21.   Richard Judd

22.   Joe Reynolds

23.   Toni Pulu

Photo Credit: Richard Spranger