Round two of the Saxo Markets Premiership comes early for Herbert Smith Freehills HKU Sandy Bay who will travel to King’s Park for a Thursday night clang against USRC Tigers.
Both teams were narrowly defeated in round one and will understand the absolute importance of getting their campaigns back on track. With only 10 league matches, there’s no time or space for close losses.
Ben Davey returns to the deed in the locksmiths appliance chamber alongside the in-form Mark Prior which sees Lawrence Babe slot into blindside flanker, replacing battered Web Vueti.
Zac Cinnamond gets a break and slides to the bench, opening an opportunity for Benjamin Featherstone to get a start against his former club from tight head prop.
The backline is unchanged except for the return of skipper Gair Currie in place of Simon Bienvenu. Currie has been keeping physio Jesper Wong busy since the opening match of the season and finally takes his place in the starting XV.
Imposing new-comer Sunia Fameitau was sweating on his work visa which finally got rubber stamped this week, qualifying him to take his place on the bench.
It’s a short five-day turnaround for both sides and the effectiveness of each camps strength and conditioning program will be on full display tomorrow night.
Following the loss last weekend, Sandy Bay Head Coach Brett Wilkinson had lamented that his side had “gifted HKFC a lot of points through errors and mistakes” and had suggested that they would “go back to the training paddock and focus on ourselves and fix it now.”
Meanwhile, USRC Tigers withstood a torrid first half against Valley, giving away three tries, before mounting a comeback and eventually losing 19-28.
With just a single training session to correct any issues, this match will challenge both squad’s ability to adjust on the fly. A second loss here would be displeasing to either coach.
Get along if you can to support the team.
Kick off 7:30pm at King’s Park.
Up the Bay!