Round 2 had a big mix of weather from great conditions up in Northland to a total mud bath in Manawatu. We still got some great rugby though. This season I’ll getting to over 20 games and providing live coverage on Twitter as well a weekly Monday night Mitre 10 Cup show on YouTube.
Here is my video with my Mitre 10 Cup 2019 Round 3 Predictions:
Hawke’s Bay v Otago – Hawke’s Bay by 10
Hawke’s Bay will have Brad Webber back for this game and Otago will see the return of Liam Coltman & Josh Ioane. Hawke’s Bay have been going well without Brad but he will bring some leadership back to the side. Otago have been crying out to get Ioane back but with both these players they have been out of the system so might not slot straight back in.
Hawke’s Bay have had a sturgeon start to the season where as Otago look to be distracted by the Ranfurly Shield. I expect the Magpies forwards to do the business here.
Wellington v Canterbury – Canterbury by 3
Wow Canterbury haven’t lost their opening 2 game since 1996! To got 3 in a row would be a disaster for the side that’s won this competition 9 times in the last 11 years. Wellington showed that they are susceptible upfront and Canterbury will look to punish them there.
We have returning All Blacks for this game too with Vaea Fifita for Wellington and Braydon Ennor for Canterbury. I don’t think that Fafita will be enough to help that Wellington pack against the red and black machine.
Join us on Monday’s at 8pm for the Mitre 10 Cup show as we review the weekend’s action, cover the hot topics and look forward to the next round
Tasman v Manawatu – Tasman by 30
Atu Moli returns for Tasman and Jackson Hemopo for Manawatu however I can’t see these additions making much of a difference. Tasman have been dominant and Manawatu not so much. This has big home win written all over it.
Auckland v Bay of Plenty – Auckland by 5
This is going to be a real test for both these sides. Whilst Rieko Ioane will be back for Auckland the real test is going to be upfront. Auckland have had good start to the season but this is a really tough cross division game. Bay of Plenty have had 2 big wins including against Premiership opposition last weekend. Can the double down on that? I think that they’ll find the reigning champions a much tougher task and maybe come up short this time.
Counties Manukau v Waikato – Counties Manukau by 5
Pre-season this would have been noted down as a relegation battle. However both sides have made a decent start to the season with a win and a loss. Waikato will be strengthened by the return of Luke Jacobson, who was going to be the captain this season until he got called up by the All Blacks. They’ll need that as Counties have a strong set piece and an improving backline. As they bed in some late joiners I think they are just going to get better and better.
I will be at Navigation Homes Stadium for this game, follow me on Twitter for my live coverage.
Taranaki v Northland – Taranaki by 7
This is a big game in the Championship for 2 sides that pre-season were looking at being in the final. Northland have disappointed a little and it’s hard to know where Taranaki are at. Last weekend against Manawatu the weather was a real leveller but they got the result. I think that Taranaki with their dangerous backs will win this one on the counter attack.
Southland v North Harbour – North Harbour by 10
Southland came up short in their Ranfurly Shield challenge last week. In all honesty it’s hard to see where they will get a win this season. Round 6 when they host Manawatu is probably their best chance so back the opposition until then.
North Harbour aren’t firing on all cylinders are you can hear in my post match interview last weekend. But they still should have too much class for the Stags.
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