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Five players to watch: Bay Of Plenty

Tuesday, August 7, 2018    allblacks.com    

Here are five players that will play a massive role in Bay Of Plenty's season.

Mitch Karpik

The former New Zealand Under-20s flanker was dynamic when given opportunities with the Chiefs in Investec Super Rugby this year and with the quality of players around in the loose for Bay of Plenty there could be some tough moments for opponents during the season. A speedy player around the field, Karpik belies his smaller stature with a willingness to compete at the breakdown and defensively.

Liam Polwart

Provided with more opportunities than he might have been expecting for the Chiefs due to injury to others this year, Polwart made good ground in his development as a hooker. Apart from his core responsibilities in scrummaging and lineout work, he is a handy contributor around the field with mobility that is invaluable in support play.

Tyler Ardron

The American international had some memorable moments during the Super Rugby season for the Chiefs this year and will be looking to build on the seven games he had for the side last year. A player with his penchant for running with the ball in hand could thrive in the traditional Bay of Plenty game. His core skills will also be vital in a team down a little on experience in the tight quarter.

Richard Judd

Halfback Richard Judd was in an ideal position to watch, learn and execute with the Hurricanes in Super Rugby this year and made the most of the time he had on the field, most often as a substitute to TJ Perenara. Capable of making serious breaks from the base of scrums he should be more than a handful if given the chances and can be expected to have useful support from his loose forwards.

Trael Joass

Twenty-two games in the midfield for Tasman should be more than useful for Bay of Plenty in the campaign and Trael Joass can be expected to offer some interesting options for coach Clayton McMillan. Speed and strength are key parts of his Sevens approach and will make him a key figure in the side's backline organisation.