Friday, August 16, 2019
Steamers coach Clayton McMillan says his side isn’t going to get carried away with their emphatic win over Otago as they prepare to meet Waikato in Rotorua this Sunday.
In fact, his side have put aside the euphoria of their 50-7 victory and got straight back into their preparation to take on a strong Waikato side that beat Canterbury 31-28 last weekend.
“The team recognised pretty quickly after the game, that it was a good way to start the season. But they were quick to ground themselves and know that we’ve just got to prepare better this week to get a similar result.”
“The thing too is that last year, we started well, and everything was looking rosy. So, we’ve ridden the highs and the lows. We’re not going to get carried away by our first performance. There is a long way to go. It’s as simple as that.”
McMillan has made four changes to the squad that faced Otago last weekend. Three players; Alex Ainley, Joe Ravouvou and Leroy Carter will make their Steamers debut.
Ross Geldenhuys has been named as tight-head prop, with Jeff Thwaites moving to the bench while Tevita Mafileo is rested this weekend.
Hoani Matenga moves from the bench to number 8, replacing Abraham Papali’i, who has a mild shoulder injury.
Alex Ainley, who played more than 90-games at lock for Tasman, makes his Steamers debut while Baden Wardlaw moves to the bench.
Joe Ravouvou also makes his Steamers debut, on the right wing replacing Emoni Narawa, who moves to the bench, while Pryor Collier is rested.
Leroy Carter, who was part of the 2019 Bay of Plenty Under 19's team who won the Graham Mourie Cup at the Jock Hobbs National Under 19's tournament, will also make his Steamers debut this Sunday coming off the bench.
Along with securing valuable Mitre 10 Cup points, the Steamers will also look to wrestle away the Chiefs Country Cup from Waikato. The cup represents the Chiefs provincial unions playing in the Mitre 10 Cup. Waikato claimed the cup after beating the Steamers 54-21, in last year’s competition.
McMillan expects a torrid encounter against Waikato.
“They looked pretty impressive against Canterbury. They have a pretty talented team and they are working hard.
“I’ve obviously had a bit to do with Roger Randle [Assistant Coach of Waikato], I know that he comes with an attacking mind-set and he has the players to bring his plans to fruition. So, they’re dangerous.”
Bay of Plenty Steamers:
1. Aidan Ross (24)
2. Nathan Harris (30)
3. Ross Geldenhuys (10)
4. Aaron Carroll (10)
5. Alex Ainley* (0)
6. Hugh Blake (25)
7. Mitch Karpik (17)
8. Hoani Matenga (10)
9. Richard Judd (17)
10. Dan Hollinshead (28)
11. Fa'asiu Fuatai (11)
12. Mathew Skipwith-Garland (9)
13. Joe Webber (12)
14. Joe Ravouvou* (0)
15. Chase Tiatia (36)
16. Kurt Eklund (1)
17. Tom McHugh (1)
18. Jeff Thwaites (32)
19. Baden Wardlaw (9)
20. Ajay Mua (6)
21. Leroy Carter* (0)
22. Jason Robertson (6)
23. Emoni Narawa (2)
** Denotes blazer game – 15 games
() Denotes number of games
Sunday 18 August
Rotorua International Stadium
Gates Open at 1.30pm
Curtain Raiser: Bay of Plenty Ngawha vs. Waikato Men's B kick-off 2.00pm
Bay of Plenty Steamers vs. Waikato kick-off 4.35pm
To purchase your online tickets click here.
Tickets also available for purchase from Energy Events Center, Rotorua.
Gate sales will be available on the day from 1.00pm Gates 2 and 3 at Rotorua International Stadium.