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Swampfoxes to play Wairarapa Bush in Masterton

The Mitre 10 Heartland Championship moves into round two this week and Thames Valley has a trip to Masterton to play Wairarapa Bush at Memorial Park, in a 2pm kick off on Saturday.

After suffering a frustrating defeat against West Coast last week, the Swampfoxes will need to step up their performance if they are to do well against the home team.

Wairarapa Bush has had the edge over Thames Valley in recent encounters, winning the past three matches.

2013 was the last time Thames Valley beat Wairarapa Bush in Paeroa and it was further back, in 2011, when they last won in Masterton with a 53-26 win over the Green and Reds.

There were no major injury concerns this week and co-captain Brett Ranga returns to the side after recovering from a recent illness.

Otherwise the line-up is the same as the starting 15 from last week. There are several changes on the bench though, with Shin Ouchi, Sergio de la Fuehe and Keegan Lewis coming into the squad for this game.

The referee is Tipene Cottrell.

Meanwhile, the Thames Valley Development team plays Counties Manukau at Rugby Park, Waihi (Waihi Athletics’ ground) at 2pm in the second round of the Northern Region competition. The home side is coming off a five-point loss to Auckland last week and will be hoping that local crowd support will help them to pick up a win against the visitors.

Counties had a 36-14 win against King Country Development in the opening round at Te Kuiti last week to show strong form early in the competition. The team list was not available at the time of going to print.

The Under 18 team is also into the second week of competition and travels to the Leamington Rugby Club grounds in Cambridge to take on the Waikato Secondary Schools Team who were beaten by the King Country Under 18s last week, 34-20.

Thames Valley had a solid 19-12 first up win against the NZ Vikings and will take some confidence from that result into this week’s match which starts at 1pm.

The Under 14 side heads off to Tauranga on Saturday to play Western Bay of Plenty in the annual match for the Steve Robinson Trophy at 1pm.

On Sunday, the Under 45kg team takes part in the first day of the Invitational Under 45 Tournament at Cambridge. The team has two games, the first at 11.30am against Hamilton Black and the second against Te Awamutu at 1.30pm. The tournament continues over the following two weeks and concludes with a Finals Day at Boyd Park, Te Aroha on Sunday, September 16.

And the final round of the Under 13 Girls competition will be held at Waihi this Friday night, starting at 6pm.