The pointy end of the Mitre 10 Cup is here! Yes it’s finals time and with such a close competition this year can we see a couple of away upsets this weekend? I’ll give you my thoughts below.
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Otago v Northland – Otago by 3
This is a tough old pick. Boa on the DrivingMaul show the other night made a good case for Northland to win, like he had the previous week and he was right then. However 1 win in 5 games doesn’t give me much confidence in this Northland side.
Otago, having lost to Southland and Tasman in the last 2 weeks, also aren’t breading much confidence. So it’s a real toss up. However at home you’d think Otago should have the upper hand even if they have only won 2 of their 5 home games.
However Northland just don’t travel well with only 1 away win all season and that was only a short trip to Counties Manukau.
Auckland v Waikato – Auckland by 10
A block buster battle of the Bombays! Or is that Auckland v Counties? I don’t know I do know that they use it for Blues v Chiefs though.
Anyway you could say that Auckland slipped up last weekend but it was only by a point. They have lost 3 games this season and 2 of those were by a solitary point. You have to have Auckland as favourites going into any game with that kind of record.
Also the wheels have come off a bit for Waikato. Losing 3 on the bounce including a 21 point loss to Auckland at Eden Park. How much did they manage to learn from that game???
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Hawke’s Bay v Taranaki – Hawke’s Bay by 10
Taranaki have been taking to Hawke’s Bay on the socials this past couple of weeks.
Unfortunately for Taranaki this game is played on the grass not Facebook and Twitter. Surprisingly Taranaki have a better away record than home record. Maybe that’s partially down to playing in a temporary home as well as how the draw has fallen.
Hawke’s Bay though are perfect at home so far this season with 5 wins from 5 games. I can’t see Taranaki changing that record but then again I couldn’t see them getting with a point of Hawke’s Bay last weekend.
Tasman v Bay of Plenty – Bay of Plenty by 3
OK I’m really pushing the boat out with this one. Tasman either win big of lose big. Only 1 of their games this season has been decided by single figures and that was last weekend against Otago.
Bay of Plenty are the form team having won 5 games on the bounce. Sure 3 fo those have been at fortress Tauranga where they haven’t lost in a couple of years. Even so I think they are in with a good shout against the reigning champions.
Tasman has been far from dominant this season with 3 big losses including the last game at home against Canterbury. I really am going for the upset here but you never know……
Last weekend we saw the Black Ferns beat the New Zealand Barbarians 34-15. This weekend is the second and last in the series of games that’s part of the buildup to the RWC next year in New Zealand.
- Black Ferns v NZ Barbarians – Black Ferns by 15