Going into round four of the Mitre 10 Cup, Bay of Plenty and North Harbour have something in common - neither team has been able to beat Auckland.

After three weeks of competition the Bay of Plenty Steamers have two impressive wins and a loss suffered at the hands of Auckland last weekend, while North Harbour have notched up a win, a loss and a draw against Auckland in week one. The two sides face off this weekend on North Harbour's home ground at Albany.

It will no doubt be a close battle on Sunday when Bay of Plenty will be wanting to come back strong after being beaten 19-13 by the defending premier champions.

"We're definitely up for it and we're keen to right our wrongs," Steamers captain Aidan Ross said.


"We definitely got to a good start, Otago and Waikato with a couple of good wins there and then we knew Auckland were really going to be a tough old task.

"We were definitely up for it but we probably shot ourselves in the foot there. We gifted them a couple of easy tries and then for the first time this year really we were on the back foot chasing the game rather than leading it, so definitely a lot of good lessons taken out of that game and I guess we get another chance this week to go out there and face another premiership team and give it another crack," Ross says.

And with a positive mind set, Ross is looking forward to the challenge North Harbour will bring and says it hasn't been hard to lift the team for their next game.

"Everyone knows where they went wrong at the weekend. A week is a long time to mull over a loss. So, we are just looking forward to getting back out their and right those wrongs," Ross says.

The 120kg prop has been instrumental in the side's success at scrum time this season, but the 27-game veteran knows his side is in for a tough battle.

"They are a really good pack and have a good scrum - probably one of the better ones in the competition. So, we know what we are expecting from them and we've got to match them. We are up for it."

With Nathan Harris out injured, Kurt Eklund gets his first start at hooker for the Steamers.

"Kurt has been playing some good footy, and he had a great preseason. He's definitely a good player, and he has experience on his side. So, he is chomping at the bone to get out there," Ross says.


Ross says the side has focused a lot on their set piece, and ensuring players know their roles in the game plan.

"Everyone is there for a reason and just expressing everyone's individual talents, to bring the best out of our team, so everyone is ready to unleash themselves this weekend."

Nathan Vella will also make his debut off the bench this weekend.

Bay of Plenty Steamers: Aidan Ross (C), Kurt Eklund, Ross Geldenhuys, Alex Ainley, Baden Wardlaw, Hugh Blake, Mitch Karpik, Ajay Mua, Richard Judd, Dan Hollinshead, Fa'asiu Fuatai, Lalomilo Lalomilo, Joe Webber, Emoni Narawa, Chase Tiatia, Nathan Vella, Tevita Mafileo, Jeff Thwaites, Aaron Carroll, Hoani Matenga, Leroy Carter, Kaleb Trask, Joe Ravouvou.

Game details:
Bay of Plenty Steamers v North Harbour.
Sunday, September 1.
North Harbour Stadium.
Kick-off 2.05pm.