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Mako team named to take on Taranaki

The Mako will make its first appearance in Nelson tomorrow night when they take on a wounded Taranaki side fresh off losing the Ranfurly Shield.

BY JONTY DINE [Nelson App]

Coach Leon MacDonald has resisted the urge to make wholesale changes to his starting side following a heavy defeat at the hands of Auckland last week.

MacDonald has made just three tweaks to the team that conceded 36 points at Eden Park as the Mako look to rediscover the form that saw them go 3-0 to kick off its campaign.  

Taina Fox-Matamua will start at number 8 shifting Ethan Blackadder to blindside and Sione Havili to the pine.

Andrew Makalio swaps his spot on the bench with Ray Niuia while the blockbusting Levi Aumua returns to centre.

Nelson winger Tima Faingaanuku says he is looking forward to the homecoming. 

Tima says they were simply beaten by a better team in Auckland last Friday but the game plan will be largely the same when the meet the amber and blacks tomorrow night. 

"I guess last week was just a mindset thing, the boys will trust our systems." 

The Mako currently sit fourth on the premiership table, six points shy of leaders and defending champions Canterbury while Taranaki has slumped to six after relinquishing the shield to Waikato. 

Kick off at Trafalgar Park is 7.45pm.

Mako lineup: 1. Wyatt Crockett, 2. Andrew Makalio, 3. Tyrel Lomax, 4. Quinten Strange, 5. Pari Pari Parkinson, 6. Ethan Blackadder, 7. Jed Brown, 8. Taina Fox-Matamua, 9. Finlay Christie, 10. Mitchell Hunt, 11. Solomon Alaimalo, 12. David Havili, 13. Levi Aumua, 14. Tima Faingaanuku, 15. Will Jordan.

Reserves-16.Ray Niuia, 17. Ryan Coxon, 18. Blair Prinsep, 19. Mike Curry, 20. Sione Havili, 21. Jack Grooby, 22. Tim O'Malley, 23. Alex Nankivell.

Sunday will see the Mako women take on North Harbour at Albany as they look to bounce back from an 86-0 drubbing by Auckland last weekend.

The match will air live on Sky Sport at 11.35am.