Southland Sharks vs Taranaki Mountainairs - Saturday @ ILT Stadium at 7pm
Game Preview - It’s a tough weekend for the Airs with back-to-back games against two teams starting to prepare for finals and with a win here the Sharks will basically sew up their place at the Final 4. Always tough to beat at home, and especially given the menacing form Todd Blanchfield is in right now (15 treys in his last two games), a tired Airs team will find the going extremely tough at ILT Stadium. Roberto Nelson sat out last game for the Sharks with an injury and could be absent again. Even so, the Airs need to find away to limit the infectious work-ethic that Hyrum Harris, Dom Kelman-Poto and Tom Vodanovich bring, not to mention Weeks, Pledger and Blanchfield. It’s a big ask for the visitors.
35. Alex Pledger (centre)
97. Jarrad Weeks (guard)
22. Hyrum Harris (guard/forward)
24 . Todd Blanchfield (guard)
5. Tom Vodanovich (forward)
4. Roberto Nelson (guard) *questionable
11. Dom Kelman-Poto (forward)
14. Tai Wynyard (centre)
25. Andrew Wheeler (guard)
45. Tinashe Matambanadzo (guard)
2. Tom Cowie (guard)
34. Connor Coll (forward)
Coach: Judd Flavell
Assistant: Leyton Haddleton
Manager: Troy Paulin
From The Coach - Judd Flavell
We are certainly wary of this Taranaki side who have the talent to upset any team in the league this year. We won’t be taking them lightly but will be sticking to our own goals and game plan as we head towards the end of the season. This game is a chance for us to keep pushing for playoffs and to continue to play in the way we have been for the past few weeks. As usual we are looking forward to the challenge and the fantastic energy our home crowd brings us .
Starting 5 14. Alonzo Burton (guard) 8. Derone Raukawa (guard) 5. Xavier Shaw (forward) 21. Chris Early (forward) 20. Thane O’Leary (forward)
Bench 22. Aaron Bailey-Nowell (forward) 1. Mitch Dance (forward) 10. Dane Brooks (guard) 7. Houston O'Riley (guard)
Coach: David Bublitz Assistant: Andrew Green Manager: Bevan Seddon
From The Coach – David Bublitz The guys played really well for three quarters of the game against the league leaders on Saturday night. In the end the massive amount of defensive pressure that The Saints exerted in the third and fourth quarters wore down our guards resulting in tired turnovers, which then lead to quick buckets. Maintaining our standards for longer periods of time and ball security are two of our main focuses for the week. The Southern double is always a tough trip, our group is really looking forward to the challenge.