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Jack Goodhue and Rene Ranger form crack Northland midfield for Manawatu showdown

Jack Goodhue. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Northland will be bolstered by All Blacks midfielder Jack Goodhue in their Sunday afternoon encounter with Manawatu and the Crusader’s combination with former All Black Rene Ranger will certainly keep the Turbos busy on defence.

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Goodhue last represented Northland in the 2017 season where he formed a dangerous partnership with Ranger, who’s had stints playing in Japan, France and the United States.

Tom Robinson has also been named to make his return from injury after the utility forward spend the majority of the Super Rugby Aotearoa season sidelined.

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Jordan Olsen captains the side from hooker and will be flanked by two debutants, Luatangi Li and Tyler Kearns. Blues locks Josh Goodhue and Sam Caird will lock the scrum.

In the loose forwards, Robinson is joined by experienced Taniwha Kara Pryor – who was named in the Northland development squad – and Sam McNamara.

Sam Nock, fresh off what could be considered a breakout season with the Blues, will partner Dan Hawkins in the halves. Hawkins, in his eighth season with the Taniwha, is set to earn his 50th cap.

Outside backs Pisi Leilua, Jordan Hyland and Scott Gregory round out the side.

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Northland host Manawatu on Sunday at 2:00pm NZT.

Northland: Scott Gregory, Pisi Leilua, Rene Ranger, Jack Goodhue, Jordan Hyland, Dan Hawkins, Sam Nock, Sam McNamara, Kara Pryor, Tom Robinson, Josh Goodhue, Sam Caird, Tyler Kearns, Jordan Olsen (c), Luatangi Li. Reserves: Ben Tou, Ross Wright, Coree Te Whata-Colley, Temo Mayanavanua, Matt Matich, Harrison Levien, Wiseguy Faiane, Tamati Tua.

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Flankly 9 hours ago
Resilient Irish will test Springboks despite provincial setbacks

The Bok kryptonite is complacency. How did they lose to Japan in 2015, or to Italy in 2016? There are plenty of less dramatic examples. They often boil down to the Boks dialing back their focus and intensity, presuming they can win with less than 100% commitment. This can be true of most teams, but there is a reason that the Boks are prone to it. It boils down to the Bok game plan being predicated on intensity. The game plan works because of the relentless and suffocating pressure that they apply. They don’t allow the opponent to control the game, and they pounce on any mistake. It works fantastically, but it is extremely demanding on the Bok players to pull it off. And the problem is that it stops working if you execute at anything less than full throttle. Complacency kills the Boks because it can lead to them playing at 97% and getting embarrassed. So the Bulls/Leinster result is dangerous. It’s exactly what is needed to introduce that hint of over-confidence. Rassie needs to remind the team of the RWC pool game, and of the fact that Ireland have won 8 of the 12 games between the teams in the last 20 years. And of course the Leinster result also means that Ireland have a point to prove. Comments like “a club team beating a test team” will be pasted on the changing room walls. They will be out to prove that the result of the RWC game truly reflects the pecking order between the teams. The Boks can win these games, but, as always, they need to avoid the kryptonite.

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