Northland have made four personnel changes to their starting line up as they look to build on their opening Mitre 10 Cup victory.

The Taniwha head down State Highway One to take on Auckland tomorrow on the back of a second-half fight back to defeat Bay of Plenty 28-23.

Coach Derren Witcombe said it was encouraging the way they ended the battle on Sunday.

"We spoke about what we needed to fix at halftime and we did it. We showed a lot more energy as well," he said.


"Defence wins games and I think we showed that on Sunday. Yeah we scored 28 points, however, in that last seven or eight minutes a lot of teams, and generally Northland in the past, would have lost that game.

"The guys showed a lot of heart and discipline. We got penalised a couple of times but we didn't get penalised off the park so there's good signs but it's something to keep working on."

Witcombe has brought halfback Sam Nock, flanker Jack Ram, centre Jack Goodhue and first five Peter Breen into the starting line-up.

Nock returns from a calf injury sustained during pre-season that ruled him out of the opening contest.

Breen slots in outside Nock at first five in a straight swap with Dan Hawkins following a strong showing off the bench.

Jack Goodhue will start at centre in his debut fixture in the Cambridge Blue, moving man of the match Rene Ranger out to the right wing. Jordan Hyland drops out of the 23 altogether.

Jack Ram, on the back of his try-scoring performance from the bench, will start at blindside flanker. Murray Douglas moves to lock while Josh Goodhue moves to the reserves.

Number eight Dan Pryor had a strong performance in the loose last week and retains his spot, saying it was great to be back in Northland.

"It was an awesome feeling coming back from the cold in Dunedin to play with the brother and the boys in the warm," he said.

"We did a lot of work on the culture of the team and it paid off I guess. The boys are stoked."

Auckland will pose a different threat to Bay of Plenty. They're coming off a tense 16-14 defeat to Counties-Manukau and will be desperate to get on the board.

They also feature a trio of players with All Black experience in lock Patrick Tuipulotu as well as midfielders George Moala and Malakai Fekitoa.

Witcombe said they were up for a fight but Northland are going into the match in good spirits.

"We've had a look at them but really we want to focus on our game because we haven't got that right yet. But they've got a lot of skilled, talented individuals," he said.

"They've got threats but if we do our thing on attack and defence, keep to our systems, show the energy we had in the second half we can go down there and really challenge them, if not win.

"We're going down there with a really positive attitude after the way we played in the second half against Bay of Plenty."

The match at Eden Park kicks off at 4:30pm tomorrow.

Northland: Matty Wright, Rene Ranger, Jack Goodhue, Tamati Tua, Solomon Alaimalo, Peter Breen, Sam Nock, Dan Pryor, Kara Pryor, Jack Ram, Murray Douglas, Tim Bond, Namatahi Waa, Matt Moulds (c), Howard Sililoto.
Reserves: Jordan Olsen, Ross Wright, Ropate Rinakama, Josh Goodhue, Matt Matich, Malcolm MacLeod, Dan Hawkins, Jone Macilai.

Auckland: Jordan Trainor, Vince Aso, Malakai Fekitoa, George Moala, Caleb Clarke, Daniel Bowden, Jono Hickey, Blake Gibson, Sinclair Dominikovich-Murray, Sam Slade, Scott Scrafton, Patrick Tuipulotu, Marcel Renata, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Sam Prattley.
Reserves: Kurt Eklund, Isi Tu-ungafasi, Dexter Fa'amoana, Ben Nee Nee, Josh Kaifa, Leon Fukofuka, TJ Faiane, Otumaka Mausia.