Rugby: Hore returns to bolster backline

Charlie Hore (left) beside returning lock Tom Donnelly at Otago training at Logan Park yesterday....
Charlie Hore (left) beside returning lock Tom Donnelly at Otago training at Logan Park yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Charlie Hore has come off the farm in Patearoa to lend a hand to an ailing Otago backline.

Hore, who has just turned 33, has been named in the Otago team for tomorrow night's game against Bay of Plenty at Carisbrook.

He last played for Otago in 2007 before leaving to play rugby in Europe.

Hore returned to New Zealand earlier this year with wife Belinda Colling and their three children, and was working on his parents' farm in Patearoa.

He played club rugby for Maniototo and was approached by Otago coach Steve Martin to play for the side at the start of the season.

But, busy with work commitments and settling his family back into New Zealand, he declined the offer.

Martin came calling again earlier this week, and Hore said yes, He has been named as second five-eighth in a much changed Otago side to play third-placed Bay of Plenty.

"Steve just rang up during the week and asked if I would like to help out. I feel a bit sad, really, getting in and taking someone else's spot," Hore said.

Hore, the older brother of All Black hooker Andrew, enjoyed the season with Otago Country, had gone on the North Island tour, and said he was match fit and willing to play.

He said the legs were a bit sore yesterday after training, but he was looking forward to getting back on the field for Otago.

"It's a steep learning curve, getting to know all the moves and systems. But the boys have all been really welcoming."

Martin said Hore, who has played 29 games for Otago, was an experienced player coming into an area where Otago was lacking in players with a lot of game time.

"In the decision-making areas, Charlie is going to come in there and lend us his experience. I've been happy with the way those guys in those areas have been progressing and the three of them have all been included in the squad this week," Martin said.

He denied it was a panic move to bring back Hore.

The team would benefit from his experience and ability, Martin said.

"We've got fairly simple systems and patterns and Charlie has been here long enough to know what happens," he said.

To give an illustration of player turnover these days, Hore will take the field tomorrow with just three players who started in his last game for Otago in 2007 - Brett Mather, Alando Soakai and Tom Donnelly.

Otago has made seven changes in all to the team which lost heavily to Hawkes Bay in Napier, with a new front row, and a new inside back combination.

All Black lock Tom Donnelly could have taken the week off, but has elected to play, and he should aid the Otago lineout which was wonky last week.

He replaces Hoani Matenga, who moves to the bench.

Otago's other All Black, loose forward Adam Thomson, has decided to take the week off, but Martin expected him to be back next week.

Sam Hibbard and Ben Nolan come back into the front row, with Hibbard returning after being rested last week, while Nolan has fully recovered from a rib injury sustained a couple of weeks ago.

Hooker Jason Macdonald comes back into the team in place of Peter Mirrielees.

In the backs, Glenn Dickson takes the place of Michael Witt at first five-eighth, while winger Ryan Shortland replaces Fetu'u Vainikolo, who had a game to forget last week.

Bay of Plenty has named a settled side, although lock John Moore has gone to the reserves' bench, with Mark Burman coming into the side.

Moore is rested after a heavy workload.

Loose forward Tanerau Latimer, despite not having played since June, is taking the week off.

Bay of Plenty has won six games this season. It has not won at Carisbrook since 1980.

> Otago v Bay of Plenty
Carisbrook, tomorrow, 7.35pm
Otago: Ben Smith, Karne Hesketh, Brett Mather, Charlie Hore, Ryan Shortland, Glenn Dickson, Sean Romans, Steven Setephano, Alando Soakai (captain), Eben Joubert, Tom Donnelly, Hayden Triggs, Sam Hibbard, Jason Macdonald, Ben Nolan.

Reserves: Peter Mirrielees, Keith Cameron, Hoani Matenga, Paul Grant, James Kenny, Michael Witt, Andrew Parata.

Bay of Plenty: Toby Arnold, Nigel Hunt, Wayne Hughson, Phil Burleigh, Jason Hona, Mike Delany, Junior Poluleuligaga, Colin Bourke (captain) Luke Braid, Zac Hohneck, Culum Retallick, Mark Burman, James McGougan, John Pareanga, Joe Savage.

Reserves: Dean Elmiger, Josh Hohneck, John Moore, Matt Henwood, Ben Smith, Cory Aporo, Zar Lawrence.


• Clever kicking by Daniel Kirkpatrick helped guide Wellington to a 32-13 Air NZ Cup win over Southland in Wellington last night, NZPA reported.

The young first five-eighth grew in stature as the match progressed and two deft touches from him led to important second-half tries for his team on a cold and wet evening in the capital.

Astute kicking became increasingly important in the difficult, slippery conditions and Kirkpatrick was up to the task as Wellington ignored the form book to inflict just Southland's second loss of the season.

His nicely weighted chip inside the Southland 22 was pounced on by replacement back Fa'atonu Fili in the 53rd minute and, just nine minutes later, Kirkpatrick set up another try, this time to Apoua Stewart.

Kirkpatrick kicked high to the right-hand touch where Stewart hauled in the ball before stepping past a diving Robbie Robinson to score and give the home side a decisive 25-13 lead.

Southland was given a hand late in the piece when Wellington prop Anthony Perenise was sinbinned by English referee Wayne Barnes for a deliberate foot trip, leaving the home side a man down for the last seven minutes.

But Southland was unable to make its numerical advantage count and instead conceded a bonus-point try when Wellington wing David Smith snaffled an intercept shortly before thefinish.

Wellington 32 (Daniel Ramsay, Fa'atonu Fili, Apoua Stewart, David Smith tries; Daniel Kirkpatrick 2 penalty goals, 3 conversions), Southland 13 (Joe Tuineau try; Robbie Robinson 2 penalty goals, conversion). Half-time: 13-3.


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