Team News and Lineups for our SPONSORS DAY match against King Country this Saturday
Please Note :2pm Kick – Off
Centurions Cup Day
Saturday 15th September
Heartland v King Country @Te Aroha 2pm
Development v King Country @Te Aroha 12.15pm
U18’s v King Country @Te Aroha 12.30pm
U16’s v King Country @Te Aroha 12.30pm
U14’s v King Country @Te Aroha 11am
Roller Mills v King Country @Te Aroha 11am
Rugby’s Centurions Cup on the line for Thames Valley
The Centurions Cup is on the line for the annual game against King Country at Boyd Park, Te Aroha this weekend.
Thames Valley is the current holder of the rugby trophy which was first played for in 2011 and has been contested annually ever since.
The match is also a fourth round Mitre 10 Heartland Championship fixture and brings together not just neighbouring rivals but two of the better performed teams in the competition to date.
After both teams had forgettable seasons last year, their performances have been vastly improved in 2018.
King Country, along with Meads Cup holders Wanganui, is yet to lose a game and is equal first on 14 points while Thames Valley has recovered well from a first round defeat to win its next two games and now lies fourth on the table, three points behind King Country.
The match stats for previous games between the two teams makes for interesting reading.
In the 13 games played since the Heartland Championship began in 2006, both sides have won six with one match drawn.
Thames Valley won a high scoring affair in Te Kuiti last year, 45-36 following a 22-22 draw in Te Aroha in 2016.
King Country is coached by Craig Jefferies who had been in charge of the Te Puke Sports Premier team for the last few years as well as coaching Bay of Plenty age grade rep teams.
He is assisted by Charles Hubbard along with King centurion, Glynn Meads.
Outside back Dean Church is the most experienced player in the Rams squad with over 65 games while lock, Rob Sherson has more than 50 to his credit.
After two years as a loan player from Te Puke Sports, winger Alex Thrupp, with 15 games in the maroon jersey, joined the Waitomo club this season, to play in the local competition and is now classed a local player.
A number of Thames Valley players are currently on the injury list following a couple of tough games on the road so coach Matthew Bartleet may have to delve into the Development Team ranks to fill the jerseys for this game.
The Development Team is joined by four Thames Valley age grade rep teams to make up a huge line up of five curtain raiser games before the main event.
The day starts at 11am with the Roller Mills and Under 14 games followed by the Development Teams at 12.15pm and the Under 16s and Under 18s at 12.30pm. The Heartland game starts at 2pm.
The Under 45kg team plays on Sunday in the final day of the Invitation Tournament at Boyd Park, with all six teams playing two games each to conclude the competition.
The first round of games starts at 11am, with the hosts, Thames Valley up against Hamilton Gold. The second round due is to get underway at 1pm when the last local derby for the weekend takes place as Thames Valley and King Country meet in the final game.
Prizegiving will follow immediately after the last game.