There are just two changes to the Taniwha starting line-up as they look to correct personal errors in their ITM Cup clash against Wellington at Toll Stadium tomorrow afternoon.

Centre Winston Stanley and prop Namatahi Waa are the only changes to the run-on XV that faced Manawatu on Sunday, coming in at the expense of Brook Gilmore and Ross Wright - who both take up spots on the bench.

Joining Wright and Gilmore on the bench will be Queensland lock Michael Stolberg who will look to get his first ITM Cup cap.

For Stolberg and Stanley, it will be their first experience in a Taniwha jersey at Toll Stadium, with the latter having already played ITM Cup rugby for Auckland.


With a 2.35pm kick-off tomorrow, and fine weather expected, Northland coach Derren Witcombe says his side is confident they can turn around last weekend's 28-23 loss to Manawatu.

"Basically it was our mistakes [that cost us] so it's an easy fix so we've got an individual focus in doing our jobs and holding on to the ball.

"Our focus against Wellington is holding on to the ball and playing our brand of rugby.

"They're big boys, historically they have prided themselves on being physical ... [but] we've got some big boys too."

Witcombe added that while Wellington had close associations to the Hurricanes, they were a young team who could be exposed.

He said the Taniwha boys were not in awe of any of their players so it would simply be man-on-man.

"We talked this week about that. There's 15 human beings playing 15 human beings out there, so that's how we'll be handling them.

"It's just about that individual discipline in getting rid of the personal errors. We believe we can beat any team if we get rid of the errors and play our game."

Witcombe reinforced the team appreciated home ground support and encouraged Northlanders to get behind the Taniwha and enjoy what should be a top day of rugby - especially with the All Blacks playing at 7.30pm on Saturday.

"We let our fans down on the weekend but we're looking to repay them this weekend ... it'll be a great afternoon of footy."

Northland's next home game is against Hawke's Bay at 8.05pm on Friday, September 5.

ITM Cup: Round 2

*Northland v Wellington:
Tomorrow, 2.35pm at Toll