Lions name side for semi-final clash with Hawke’s Bay
The Wellington Lions are heading into a Bunnings Warehouse NPC semi-final showdown with Hawke’s Bay tomorrow evening, after overcoming Waikato 32-28 last Saturday.
The match promises to be a cracking game of footy, with Hawke’s Bay the only side in this year’s competition to topple the defending NPC champions.
Lions Head Coach Tamati Ellison has stuck with the same starting XV that defeated a resilient Waikato side last week. The Lions defended their line for five straight minutes right at the end of the game against a Mooloo’s side who put together 38 phases in search of a winning try but couldn’t breach the Lions staunch defence.
Ellison has made changes to his reserves however, with hooker Asafo Aumua set to make his long-awaited return from injury, coming off the bench in this game.
Xavier Numia, Siale Lauaki and James O-Reilly make up the front row. Hutt Old Boys Marist lock Teofilo Paulo will partner with Dominic Bird in the second-row. Caleb Delany remains at blindside. Inspirational captain Du’Plessis Kirifi starts at No. 7, with Brad Shields completing the backrow at No.8.
Tawa halfback Kemara Hauiti-Parapara and Marist St Pats no.10 Aidan Morgan pair up again the halves. Peter Umaga-Jensen and Marist St Pats Billy Proctor are in the midfield, while Ruben Love remains at fullback.
Kick-off for the semi-final match at Sky Stadium on Saturday evening is at 7:05pm.
Lions side to take on Hawke’s Bay:
- Xavier Numia – Oriental-Rongotai
- James O’Reilly – Hutt Old Boys’ Marist
- Siale Lauaki – Tawa
- Dominic Bird – Upper Hutt Rams
- Teofilo Paulo – Hutt Old Boys’ Marist
- Caleb Delany – Old Boys University
- Du’Plessis Kirifi – Northern United (Captain)
- Brad Shields – Petone
- Kemara Hauiti-Parapara – Tawa
- Aidan Morgan – Marist St Pats
- Riley Higgins – Petone
- Peter Umaga-Jensen – Wainuiomata
- Billy Proctor – Marist St Pats
- Julian Savea – Oriental-Rongotai
- Ruben Love – Wainuiomata
- Asafo Aumua – Avalon
- Cameron Orr – Western Suburbs
- Josiah Tevita-Metcalfe – Northern United
- Hugo Plummer – Tawa
- Dominic Ropeti – Oriental-Rongotai
- Keelan Whitman – Marist St Pats
- Kyle Preston – Old Boys University
- Connor Garden-Bachop – Northern United