Round 3 of the Mitre 10 Heartland Championship takes Thames Valley to Levin to play the unbeaten Horowhenua Kapiti side this weekend.
Following the disappointing loss to Wanganui on Saturday, coach Matthew Bartleet will be aware of the need for the side to do well against an in-form Horowhenua Kapiti team that has recorded two good wins so far this year.
The record between Thames Valley and Horowhenua Kapiti is fairly even in Heartland competition with home ground being an advantage in the results to date.
Bartleet has a relatively injury-free squad to select from with the added bonus of co captain Shaun Hill returning from a week’s lay off to take the field again on Saturday.
The team is: T Scott, H Wisnewski, G Lelenoa, A Carroll, C McVerry, B Ranga, R Moloney, A Bradley, J Wood, C Doak, L Easton, s Mc Cahon, S Hill, T Keith, H Lafituanai. Reserves: E Roycroft, S Topou, K Lewis, B Bonnar, J Law, J Goodall. The game starts at 2pm, referee is Richard Gordon.
The development team returns to Rhodes Park, Thames for a top of the table clash with North Harbour. Coach Peter O’Connor will have the services of several members of the wider Heartland squad to pick from for his starting line up as they aim for a third straight win in the Under 85kg competition. The game starts at 2pm.
Admission is free and there will be an after match function at the Thames Rugby clubrooms which everyone is invited to.
The Under 18s are in Ruatoria on Saturday and play their East Coast counterparts in the curtain-raiser to the Heartland Championship game between Ngati Porou East Coast and West Coast. This will be the second and final game of their tour after going down to Poverty Bay by 34-12 on Wednesday.
The Under 16s play in the curtain raiser to the Thames Valley v Horowhenua Kapiti game in Levin. This will be the third game of their tour, after losing to Wanganui 25-24 at Cooks Garden, Wanganui on Wednesday and Wairarapa Bush last Sunday.
The Roller Mills play Waikato at Centennial Park in Paeroa at 12pm and the Under 45s play Western Bay of Plenty at Tauranga at 12pm in the third round of their regional competition, which they currently lead.