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PREMIERSHIP PREVIEW: Counties Manukau v Wellington

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Friday, September 14, 2018    allblacks.com    Getty Images

Match details: Counties Manukau v Wellington, 2.05pm, Saturday 15 September, Navigation Homes Stadium, Pukekohe
Played: 32 (1976-2016)
Won: Wellington 17, Counties Manukau 13, Drawn 2
Last time: Wellington 28, Counties Manukau 27 in Pukekohe

QUICK TAP: TASMAN REGAIN WINNING MOJO

FORM
Both teams come into this clash on the back of solid wins with Counties Manukau powering past Southland 43-26 and Wellington edging North Harbour 35-23. Wellington have the slightly better record overall with three wins from five matches played while the Steelers have won two and lost three.

JONAH LOMU MEMORIAL TROPHY

This match is about more than just competition points with the Jonah Lomu Memorial Trophy up for grabs. The legendary All Blacks wing played for both Wellington and Counties Manukau prior to passing away in 2015. The trophy as been contested just once before in 2016 with Wellington getting home by one-point thanks to a long range penalty goal by Jackson Garden-Bachop.

FAST FACT (Opta)
Counties Manukau’s Joe Royal has 48 throw wins at the lineout this campaign, more than any other player in the competition.

THE SCOOP

This match takes on an extra edge with the Jonah Lomu Memorial Trophy on the line. The Steelers will be a different proposition on their home turf and have named an exciting backline with plenty of firepower to come from the bench. The Lions were hot and cold in round four and cannot afford any lapses against a Counties Manukau side that score from anywhere on the field.
TEAMS
Counties Manukau:

1: Sean Bagshaw 2: Joe Royal 3: Kalolo Tuiloma 4: Viliame Rarasea 5: Matiaha Martin 6: Mathew Vaai 7: Fotu Lokotui 8: Dan Hyatt 9: Te Aihe Toma 10: Fosita Latuime 11: Tevita Nabura 12: Cardiff Vaega 13: Orbyn Leger 14: Toni Pulu 15: Luteru Laulala
Reserves: Gafatasi Su’a, Howard Silioto, Coree Te Whata-Colley, Daymon Leasuasu, Liam Daniela, Nigel Ah Wong, Etene Nanai-Seturo

Wellington

1: Xavier Numia 2: Asafo Aumua 3: Jeffery Toomaga-Allen 4: James Blackwell 5:Isaia Walker-Leaware 6: Vaea Fifita 7: Matekai Kafatolu 8: Teariki Ben-Nicholas 9: Kemera Hauiti-Parapara 10: Jackson Garden-Bachop 11: Malo Tuitama 12: Billy Proctor 13: Matt Proctor 14: Ben Lam 15: Wes Goosen
Reserves: James O’Reilly, Tolu Fahamokioa, Joel Hintz, Galu Taufele, Greg Foe, Sheridan Rangihuna, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Pakai Turia