The Bay of Plenty Volcanix go into their Eden Park adventure tonight to take on Auckland in upbeat mood after finding their mojo bigtime in last week’s 73-0 win over Taranaki.
It was their first win of the season but a satisfying one as their attacking game finally clicked into gear.
Tonight’s opposition, Auckland, will be a level above Taranaki but are not the force they were in previous years when they dominated the Farah Palmer Cup. They are level with the Volcanix at the bottom of the Premiership table with just one win apiece.
The Volcanix will also remember their 40 minute encounter with Auckland in the Game of Three Halves with the Black Ferns at Tauranga Domain in August, when they were more than competitive in going down 10-0.
Head coach Brendon Webby has named a near unchanged side following the Taranaki win.
Prop Baye Jacob returns to the starting lineup, with an elbow injury ruling Angel Mulu out of contention, in the only change to the forward pack.
In the backs, wingers Emily Magee and Polly Playle switch wings with Magee starting on the left and Playle on the right.
Following her impressive debut last week Te Rina Mohi retains her position on the bench and is joined by this week’s hopeful debutant Tracey Lemon.
She comes in for Tynealle Fitzgerald, who is hooking up with the New Zealand Sevens Youth Olympic team which departs early next week.
The final change to the 22 is the inclusion of Mystery McLean Kora.
Volcanix team to meet Auckland at Eden Park tonight, kickoff 5:05 (appearances in brackets):
1. Baye Jacob (15), 2. Lily Florence (17), 3. Braxton Walker (4), 4. Kate Henwood (17), 5. Amanda Aldridge (9), 6. Kendra Reynolds (23), 7. Les Elder (7), 8. Christie Yule (16) (C), 9. Jade Tuilaepa (8), 10. Ora Williams (10), 11. Emily Magee (2), 12. Renee Wickliffe (3), 13. Hana Tapiata (12), 14. Polly Playle (10), 15. Sapphire Tapsell (1)
16. Rawinia Luka (2), 17. Calli Perrot (18), 18. Mikyla Wardlaw (10), 19. Tracey Lemon*, 20. Te Rina Mohi (1), 21. Tania Raharuhi (11), 22. Mystery McLean Kora (12)