Farah Palmer Cup Championship Final Preview: Bay of Plenty v Otago

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    26 Oct 2017     Getty Images

Bay of Plenty Volcanix v Otago Spirit, Blake Park, Saturday, 12noon

There has been a B section in the women's competition before, between 2001 and 2005 but no outright finals were played, although an inter-island final was played each year from 2002. By virtue of the top qualifier automatically going into the final Bay of Plenty has had a week off while Otago beat North Harbour to claim the second berth. However, Bay of Plenty will be without Jade Tuilaepa whose knee injury ended her season early leaving Ora Williams to combine with Shaye Whareaorere in the inside backs.

Bay of Plenty have played a final when winning the Division Two title in 2004 when they beat Manawatu 8-5 in the North Island final. They then beat Southland 29-5 in the inter-island game. The final represents a significant achievement for the Bay side who, two years ago, were beaten 101-0 by Auckland in a roundrobin game. Earlier this year they moved the hypen one digit to the left when they drew with Auckland 10-10 in Whakatane. In their earlier game with Otago this year Bay of Plenty claimed the win 27-17 in Dunedin.

Otago has to go back to 2007 for the last time they contested a final, against Auckland, when they lost a thriller 27-32. Otago has had an up-and-down time of it in the competition. Last year they scored only 66 points in their six games, but this year they surpassed that in one outing when beaten Tasman 82-0 in the second week of play. However, they haven't had close games at all with the smallest margin being the 10 points to Bay of Plenty.


Bay of Plenty: 1.Luka Connor, 2.Lily Florence, 3.Ereti Williams, 4.Julia Buescher, 5.Kaci James, 6.Christine Yule, 7.Lesley Elder, 8.Sequoia Te Aonui, 9.Ora Williams, 10.Shaye Whareaorere, 11.Autumn-Rain Stephens-Daly, 12.Tania-Rose Raharuhi, 13.Aryahn Clarke, 14.Sapphire Tapsell, 15.Crystal Mayes.

Substitutes: 16.Julie Lewis, 17.Braxton Walker, 18.Makayla Daysh, 19.Amanda Aldridge, 20.Sarah Kay, 21.Kororia Heyblom, 22.Zaan Scott.

Otago: 1.Eilis Doyle, 2.Tegan Hollows, 3.Isla Pringle, 4.Kate Smith, 5.Julia Gorinski, 6.Morgan Henderson, 7.Georgia Mason, 8.Angie Sisifa, 9.Zoe Whatarau, 10.Sheree Hume, 11.Kilistina Moata'ane, 12.Soraya Umaga-Jensen, 13.Greer Muir, 14.Nicole Kennedy, 15.Cheyenne Cunningham.

Substitutes: 16.Morgan Walker, 17.Syreeta Norris, 18.Annemieke van Vliet, 19.Jessica Kendall, 20.Leyhana van Vugt, 21.Olivia Waldron, 22.Kiana Wereta.