BOP v Auckland



  • 2 hookers on the bench??????

    Steamers return home to play Auckland

    September 24, 2016

    The Bay of Plenty Steamers return home to Rotorua International Stadium this weekend, to compete for the John Drake Boot when they take on Auckland at 4.35pm tomorrow afternoon.

    The Steamers side features a number of changes including the return of Keepa Mewett, Elijah Nicholas and Lalakai Foketi.

    Aidan Ross and Pingi Tala’apitaga will pack down the front of the scrum with hooker Liam Polwart. Keepa Mewett returns to the fold joining Culum Retallick in this week’s locking combination. Shahn Eru moves to the blindside, with Hugh Blake and Joe Tupe remaining unchanged as the starting number seven and eight.

    In the backs, Rangataua’s Ruki Tipuna starts at half back ahead of Te Aihe Toma. Kelly Haimona will start a first five eight, with Dan Hollinshead moving to the number 22 jersey. Teddy Stanaway will move to second five eight, with Lalakai Foketi returning from injury to start at centre. Elijah Nicholas will return this weekend after being side-lined with concussion to start on the left wing with Monty Ioane remaining on the right wing. Isaac Te Aute will again start at fullback.

    A strong bench featuring hooker James O’Reilly, props Solomona Sakalia and Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, front rower Joseph Royal and flanker Jesse Parete. Monty Ioane will join Toma and Hollinshead on the bench to make up the playing 23.

    The team is as follows:

    1. Aidan Ross
    2. Liam Polwart
    3. Pingi Tala’apitaga
    4. Keepa Mewett
    5. Culum Retallick
    6. Shahn Eru
    7. Hugh Blake
    8. Joe Tupe
    9. Ruki Tipuna
    10. Kelly Haimona
    11. Elijah Nicholas
    12. Teddy Stanaway
    13. Lalakai Foketi
    14. Regan Ware
    15. Isaac Te Aute

    Reserves:
    16. James O’Reilly
    17. Solomona Sakalia
    18. Siegfried Fisi’ihoi
    19. Joseph Royal
    20. Jesse Parete
    21. Te Aihe Toma
    22. Dan Hollinshead
    23. Monty Ioane



  • Thats a pretty handy line up with plenty of firepower on the bench as well. Sadly the Auckland team, on paper, looks more formidable.

    It looks like the weather will be atrocious which will hopefully aid our forward orientated game but may spoil things as a spectacle.

    I'm actually looking forward to seeing how we handle the Akira brothers

    I missed seeing the Southland game but from what I'm told it had similarities to previous games ie. inconsistent kicking, failure to play a full 80 minutes and the failure to nail any advantage. I still have hope that they will put together a good performance at some stage before the end of the season but are fully aware that they will go into all the remaining games as underdogs. The hard fact is they need to win all remaining games to be in the running to make the semi's.



  • Well what a strange game. 6 tries apiece and pretty much whichever team was on attack ended up scoring a try. Pretty much the same pattern as the Counties game, bright start, blitzed for a period until well behind and then a stirring finish to grab 2 points. As usual, left points out there with the boot, as usual a smattering of dumb play, as usual Joe Tupe was absolutely outstanding - a hat-trick this time



  • Yeah, I guess we shouldn't really complain after 80 odd points were scored...well, actually we can as once again we lose by a small margin which has been the story of this year. As usual there was plenty to like but as usual loads to be annoyed by.

    The real difference between the teams was Rieko Ioane. That guy is destined for greatness. Our man Tupe must surely get a Super 15 contract as he has performed consistantly this year...maybe to replace Bardoul in the Chiefs..



  • Good game BOP - much better than the dribble from the Southland game. Tupe outstanding (surely Super rugby bound) and Retallick was everywhere for 80 minutes. Next week for his 100 games will be immense! Very poor at first 5/8 again. Dunno what's going on there, 2 of them and we still cannot crack it.

    Harbour will be a difficult game, they played well to beat up Southland today.



  • Isn't it great that Tupe is getting kudos for his game this year ? We mustn't however forget others in the team who are perhaps less flashy or visable. Blake for instance who doesn't get much mention has a high workrate and has infact the highest tackle count of anyone in the Championship. Also our lineout is statistically the best over both the Chamionship and Premiership which says something about our throwers and catchers in the lineout. Like gagboy said Retallick had a blinder in the Auckland game and deserves a lot of praise. Aiden Ross is another who has put his hand up this year in a scrum that has been steady if not spectacular. I do feel sorry for our backs sometimes having to play with to a gameplan that doesn't let them showcase their abilities. It would be interesting to see them "behind" other forwards in different teams as I see real potential in some of them. Anyway, enough of my ranting. Bring on North Harbour.



  • @Snollygoster I agree - we definitely won the forward battle against Auckland but they sliced us up most times the ball reached the backs. Bit hard to gauge our props as they change from game to game.

    On Blake, he has a great engine and certainly gets around the field. He just seems a bit lightweight for a 7 (this season) as ball pinching has been effectively removed as part of the job requirements.

    Retallick has been a great pro for the Bay - this is is his 10th season and given that it is unusual for a player to be there more than 2 seasons, that's a huge stint.


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