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Must Win Game for Thames Valley in Te Aroha

Thames Valley’s season is riding on the outcome of this weekend’s clash with Poverty Bay at Boyd Park, Te Aroha in the final round of the Mitre 10 Heartland Championship. There are several possible permutations that will arise from the result but first and foremost Thames Valley has to win to qualify for a place in the Lochore Cup semi finals. There is a three point gap between Poverty Bay and Thames Valley on the points table and a win to Poverty Bay would give them a place in the semi finals and eliminate Thames Valley from the competition at the same time.

A win to Thames Valley will kill off Poverty Bay’s chances and depending on other results and whether or not they collect a bonus point if they were to win, they could finish anywhere from fifth to eighth.

Boyd Park is top condition so an open game is expected and this will suit the visitors who had a great time at the same venue last year recording a comprehensive 50-14 win to claim a late place in the Lochore Cup. Coach Matthew Bartleet has had some injury challenges to deal with in naming this week’s line up and there may be some late changes but this is the starting side as we go to print:

  • T Scott
  • H Wisnewski
  • G Lelenoa
  • A Carroll
  • C McVerry
  • B Ranga
  • R Moloney
  • A Bradley
  • B Bonnar
  • C Doak
  • H Lafituanai
  • S Hill
  • S McCahon
  • T Keith
  • J Law

Reserves:

  • E Roycroft
  • S Topou
  • K Lewis
  • M Hart
  • J Wood
  • B Hamilton
  • L Easton

The Referee is Vincent Ringrose and the game starts at 2.00pm.

In other Round Eight games, Horowhenua Kapiti and Buller meet in a top four clash in Westport; East Coast will be hoping to upset competition leaders South Canterbury in Ruatoria, King Country can do Thames Valley a favour by beating Mid Canterbury in Taupo, Wairarapa Bush can do the same against West Coast in Masterton and North Otago can make it three wishes come true by beating Wanganui at Cooks Garden in Wanganui.

Saturday also marks Thames Valley’s 100th Heartland Championship game since the competition began in 2006.

What a win would do to help commemorate the occasion!

 

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