Waikato v Taranaki Live

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Waikato                          Taranaki
Wednesday 27th August 07:35 GMT


After becoming the latest victims of the Canterbury juggernaut at the weekend when they suffered a 27-58 defeat in Waikato Stadium Hamilton, Waikato will home that they can get their Premiership challenge back on course on Wednesday, when they host fellow Premiership side, Taranaki.

Taranaki themselves started the season with a draw in a deluge against Counties, but followed up in Round 2 with a disappointing 26-29 loss in Napier against Hawkes Bay, in a cross division fixture.

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If there was any consolation to Waikato in their thumping defeat to the champions, it was in the three tries that they scored, Canterbury crossed the whitewash eight times. However, they will want to get out of the blocks quicker when they face Taranaki, than they were last week, when they conceded three tries in the first ten minutes, to effectively kill the game as a contest.

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Taranaki were gutted to lose at Hawkes Bay, when Ihaia West landed a late dropped goal to secure a 29-26 win, when they must have thought that they had sneaked a draw three minutes from time, when Mart McKenzie scored and converted a try. However, they will be concerned that they were outscored on tries 3-2 by the championship opponents.

Posted: 12th October 2013

Such is the structure of the ITM Cup that very few matches are played that have no significance whatsoever, but that is what has transpired of Saturday night's match between Waikato and Taranaki, which will be played out at the Waikato Stadium.

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Neither side can make the play-offs, nor yet neither side is in danger of being relegated either. The match will purely decide who finishes in fifth place overall, in the ITM Premiership., and who will win the prestigious Ryan Wheeler Memorial Trophy.

Waikato makes three changes to the side that came from behind to win against Bay of Plenty last weekend. Lock Sam Kilgour returns to the team, while Save Tokula is back at centre, which necessitates, Jackson Willison and Sam Christie both moving inside one place, and Kylem O'Donnell comes into the XV on the wing.

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Waikato's Toby Smith will make his 50th and final appearance in the Red, Yellow and Black on Saturday, before he sets off across the Tasman, where he will play Super Rugby next season for the Melbourne Rebels.

Wharenui Hawera who started last week's game at first five, drops back down to the bench, which has just two backs on it, compared to five forwards.

Tags: Waikato Stadium, Waikato, Taranaki, ITM Cup, Sam Kilgour, Jackson Willison
Posted: 27th August 2014

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