Maori make five changes for Ireland
June 16, 2010
Liam Messam switches to blindside for the Maori © Getty Images
New Zealand Maori coach Jamie Joseph has made five changes to his side to face Ireland in Rotorua on Friday as they look for a second win of their centenary series.
The Maori kicked off their season with a narrow win over the New Zealand Barbarians last weekend and have bolstered their ranks as they look to complete a miserable fortnight for Ireland following their 66-28 demolition at the hands of the All Blacks.
Up front, prop Ben Afeaki replaces Clint Newland while in the second-row Isaac Ross makes way for Hayden Triggs and Daniel Ramsay drops out in favour of Jarrad Hoeata. Hoeata's blindside spot is filled by skipper Liam Messam with Chiefs No.8 Colin Bourke coming into the starting lineup.
In the backs, Dwayne Sweeney starts in midfield in place of Jackson Willison, who drops to the bench, while Aaron Smith gets his chance at scrum-half in place of the injured Chris Smylie. Joseph said some hard work and planning had been needed since the close defeat of the Barbarians.
"[That] was definitely a good test for us and we came out of that game with areas we know we need to work on and that has been our focus this week," he said. "There is a great buzz around Rotorua at the moment and the team knows the whole town is behind them. The fact that we are about to play in the same place as the first ever game played by the New Zealand Maori Rugby team 100 years ago, is very special."
NZ Maori: R Robinson (Southland); S Maitland (Canterbury), D Sweeney (Waikato), L McAlister (North Harbour), H Gear (Wellington); S Brett (Canterbury), A Smith (Manawatu); B Murray (Northland), C Flynn (Canterbury), B Afeaki (North Harbour), H Triggs (Otago), J Hoeata (Taranaki), L Messam (Waikato, capt), T Latimer (Bay of Plenty), C Bourke (Bay of Plenty)
Replacements: Dane Coles (Wellington) Clint Newland (Hawke's Bay) Romana Graham (Waikato) Karl Lowe (Hawke's Bay) Ruki Tipuna (Wellington) Willie Ripia (Taranaki) Jackson Willison (Waikato)
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year
With just two rounds left in the 2014 championship, the intensity cranks up a notch at Twickenham. Tom Hamilton previews the weekend's action
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry
Are the margins between the teams in the Six Nations getting smaller year-on-year? Huw Richards gives some answers