Vodacom Super 14

Blues make two changes

2010-04-22 18:41
Joe Rokocoko (Gallo Images)

Durban - Auckland Blues coach Pat Lam made two changes on Thursday for the Super 14 match with fellow semifinal chasers the Sharks.

Lam recalled flanker Serge Lilo and named Peter Saili in place of Viliami Ma'afu at No. 8.

With four games remaining in the regular season, both teams need a win to keep their semi-final chances alive.

"While the Sharks are tough to beat at Absa Stadium, we know how high the stakes are," Lam said.

New Zealand's Blues are currently seventh with a 5-4 record after beating the Western Force 38-17 last weekend but have not won two games in a row since week three. The Sharks have won four successive matches to lie ninth.

Lam has retained the attacking trio of fullback Isaia Toeava and wings Joe Rokocoko and Rudi Wulf. Rokocoko is the tournament's leading try-scorer with seven, having recorded three in the victory over the Force.

Toeava and Wulf have six tries between them.

Benson Stanley and former All Black Luke McAlister were again named as the centers, with Rene Ranger, who has scored five tries this season, again on the bench.

The Sharks named Andries Strauss as their only change to the team that edged the Lions 32-28 last weekend. Strauss was called in Thursday to replace the injured Riaan Swanepoel at No. 12.

Swanepoel was named on the bench alongside versatile forward Mike Rhodes, who is in line to make his first Super 14 appearance.

Springboks captain John Smit continues at loosehead prop in the must-win match in Durban.

"They're in the same position as us, mid table-ish on the log (standings)," Sharks coach John Plumtree said. "It's a case of winner takes all on the weekend, a real test match for both teams."

Sharks v Blues, Durban - 17:05

Sharks:
15. Patrick Lambie, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Stefan Terblanche, 12. Andries Strauss, 11. JP Pietersen, 10. Andy Goode, 9. Ruan Pienaar, 8. Willem Alberts, 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Johann Muller, 4. Steven Sykes, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis 1. John Smit (captain)

Substitutes: 16. Craig Burden, 17. Tendai Mtawarira, 18. Alistair Hargreaves, 19. Michael Rhodes, 20. Rory Kockott, 21. Riaan Swanepoel, 22. Lwazi Mvovo

Blues:

15. Isaia Toeava, 14. Joe Rokocoko, 13. Benson Stanley, 12. Luke McAlister, 11. Rudi Wulf, 10. Stephen Brett, 9. Alby Mathewson, 8. Peter Saili, 7. Serge Lilo, 6. Jerome Kaino, 5. Filo Paulo, 4. Kurtis Haiu, 3. John Afoa, 2. Keven Mealamu (captain), 1. Tony Woodcock

Substitutes: 16. Tom McCartney, 17. Tevita Mailau, 18. Andrew Van der Heijden, 19. Viliami Ma'afu, 20. Chris Smylie, 21. Rene Ranger, 22. Paul Williams

Read more on:    blues  |  sharks  |  super 14  |  joe rokocoko
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