PRC: Blues Development Team to face Tonga A
March 09, 2012 - 9:23am
Story and Photo: www.blues.co.nz
With two games and two wins under their belt, the Blues Development team head into their first Pacific Rugby Cup match with confidence and an element of intrigue.
Unsure what to expect from the Tonga A team, Coach Jeff Wilson feels the team’s bruising encounter against the Chiefs Development team last weekend will set them in good stead for Friday’s game.
“We have a couple of games under the belt and the Chiefs game was a big step up physically. It’s up to the boys to get mentally prepared now for what we think is going to be a tough game.
“It’s a great challenge for the boys, they are facing the unknown in the sense that we don’t know what to expect,” said Wilson.
The Blues will field a similar line-up to the team that beat the Chiefs 40-37 on Saturday, the only change sees James Semple move into fullback.
Semple replaces Hadleigh Parkes who has been called up to the Blues squad in South Africa.
“That is the purpose of our programme, to get guys ready to step up into the Blues team. Hadleigh was able to play 80 minutes for us on Saturday so has some quality game time behind him.”
North Harbour first five-eighths James Semple fills the fullback role, Wilson believes he has the skill set to get the job done.
“James has a good understanding of the game being a first five. He kicks and passes well so I think he will adapt to the position.”
The team will again be led by North Harbour’s James Parsons. Wilson said the 25-year-old hooker communicated well on the field last week as well as putting in a solid performance.
The Blues Development team face a short turnaround after Friday’s match, returning to Bell Park in Pakuranga on Tuesday to host the Fiji Warriors.
Blues Development v Tonga A
Pacific Rugby Cup
Friday 9 March 2012, kick-off 7pm
Bell Park, Pakuranga United Rugby Club
The team is:
1. Taione Vea
2. James Parsons
3. Ofa Tu’ungafasi
4. Liaki Moli
5. Steven Luatua
6. Daniel Pryor
7. Sean Polwart
8. Viliami Fihaki
9. Wayne Ngaluafe
10. Michigan Lam
11. Nafi Tuitavake
12. Francis Saili
13. Corey Aporo
14. Malakai Fekitoa
15. James Semple
16. Ross Wright
17. Jordan Lay
18. Nathan Hughes
19. Cam Goodhue
20. Bryn Hall
21. Pita Ah-ki
22. Junior Tofa Va’a