The pointy end of the Mitre 10 Cup 2019 is almost here! Just 1 rounds to go and we still don’t know all the sides that will be in the finals. Sure we know 3 of the 4 semi finalists for both the Premiership and Championship but there’s still those 2 final places to fight for.
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Southland v Bay of Plenty – Bay of Plenty by 20
Southland have broken their losing streak but they still are one of the weakest teams in the competition. Also they have nothing to play for. Bay of Plenty on the other hand have. If they win this then that puts pressure on Hawke’s Bay for that top of the table position. That’s important as it means home advantage all the way to the final. With that on the line I’m expecting a big Steamers win here.
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
Taranaki v Auckland – Auckland by 7
It’s been a tough season for Taranaki and Mitchell Brown was at a loss as to what’s gone wrong after they won their opening 3 games. They still could make it into the Championship playoffs but their visitors are also fighting for a playoff spot. Auckland aren’t the same dominant side as they were last year when the won the whole thing but still I expect them to have too much for Taranaki.
PS All of Auckland’s 3 losses have come against the top 3 sides in the Premiership.
Hawke’s Bay v Tasman – Tasman by 3
I don’t know if this is a head over heart selection. I want Bay of Plenty to finish top so that if they make it to the final I can get there. Napier is too far for me to travel if Hawke’s Bay finish top (and they haven’t talked to me at post match interviews all season). The concern is that Tasman have the top slot tied up and so might rest most of their top players. If they don’t it will still be a battle between the top of the Championship and top of the Premiership. Definitely one to make sure you see.
Manawatu v Counties Manukau – Manawatu by 5
Last weekend Bay of Plenty did a good job containing Laumape who is the Turbos best attacking weapon. I don’t think that Counties centres will be up for that job. The Counties pack has given a decent platform and they have the outside backs but the midfield of Counties has let them down. If Taranaki have lost earlier in the round Manawatu will also be aiming to make the semi-finals where as Counties are already relegated and are looking for a new head coach. The mood in the squad will be down.
Wellington v Waikato – Wellington by 7
Waikato still have a slim chance of making the finals, first they have to beat Wellington and then for North Harbour to lose. Those 2 things are not out of the question but they are unlikely. Wellington have had a good season and are looking to secure a home semi-final so there’ll be no resting players. You have to say Wellington are strong favourites to take this one.
Northland v Otago – Otago by 10
It’s been a tough season for Northland who have been hampered by injuries. Otago will be disappointed to have lost the shield last weekend and will either bounce back or throw the towel in. As Otago have 3rd wrapped up in the Championship they might rest players. If they do they Northland have a chance if not then it’s a comfortable away win.
I will be at Semenoff Stadium for this game, follow me on Twitter for my live coverage.
Canterbury v North Harbour – North Harbour by 3
Oh boy what a game to finish the regular season on! A shield challenge! Again this is one where I might be picking heart over head. The Ranfurly Shield is a great thing but it looses some of it’s lustre when it stays in a big province like Canterbury for too long. Canterbury have the ability to hold on to it for ages so go Harbour!
Check out my video on where the Ranfurly Shield could have gone this year.
Farah Palmer Cup
The Farah Palmer Cup is the women’s provincial competition here in New Zealand. Here are the round 7 fixtures:
- North Harbour v Tasman (Championship QF)
- Counties Manukau v Waikato
- Manawatu v Wellington
- Northland v Taranaki (Championship QF) – I’ll be covering this game on Twitter
- Canterbury v Bay of Plenty
Farah Palmer Cup tables:
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