Mitre 10 Cup: Week 3 Preview

Rugby Player Holds Ball

The Mitre 10 Cup enters its third round this week and as always, we’ve got you covered with our preview.

Much like the Currie Cup, the last set of Mitre 10 Cup fixtures provided a few shocks with Hawke’s Bay being hammered by Bay of Plenty and Manawatu getting one over Tasman. Elsewhere, Canterbury limped to victory over Otago in a Ranfurly Shield clash while Wellington again underlined their credentials as Championship champions-elect as they ran out 42-26 victors over Taranaki.
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Will this week go according to script or are we in for a few more upsets?

Hawke’s Bay v Canterbury | Friday 1 September | Mclean Park | 09:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Hawke’s Bay 13/2 | Draw 43/1 | Canterbury 1/14

As you can tell by the odds, the 'books have give Hawke’s Bay little to no chance here and I fully agree with them. The hosts were dreadful last week, and while Canterbury weren’t at their best, they did manage to overcome a fired-up Otago side in a quintessential Ranfurly Shield clash.

Verdict: Canterbury 1/14
They may be extremely short but the Canterbury win is my banker for the week. Also, If you get a handicap of anything under 24, I suggest backing the visitors to clear it.

Otago v Manawatu | Saturday 2 September | Forsyth Barr | 04:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Otago 15/20 | Draw 21/1 | Manawatu 23/20

Next up its Otago and Manawatu. Both teams come into this one off solid displays with Otago giving Canterbury a massive scare last week and Manawatu downing Tasman by 15 points. Manawatu may well back that performance up with another victory here, especially considering they will be able to field All Black backs Ngani Lamape and Nehe Milner-Skudder due to the week’s break in the Rugby Championship.

Verdict: Manawatu 23/20
I think the away win offers great value here. Manawatu have got their season off to a really promising start. They’ve been brilliant with ball-in-hand and the returns of Lamape and Milner-Skudder will only make them more threatening.

Southland v Northland | Saturday 2 September | Rugby Park | 07:05

To Win (80 Mins)
Southland 29/20 | Draw 21/1 | Northland 11/20

It’s South Island v North Island next up on Saturday as Southland take on Northland. The hosts come into this one off the back off two consecutive defeats to Championship opposition while the visitors won their opener against Bay of Plenty 28-23 and followed that up with a narrow 10-8 defeat to Premiership outfit Auckland.

Verdict: Northland 11/20
There’s bit of rain forecast for Napier this weekend which should play right into the hands of the visitors. 11/20 is slightly short but I’m rather confident that Northland will take this one.

Taranaki v Counties Manukau | Saturday 2 September | Yarrow Stadium | 09:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Taranaki 4/10 | Draw 22/1 | Counties 39/20

Taranaki will be looking to bounce back from their 42-26 to Wellington when they host a Counties side that went down 33-21 to Waikato last weekend. Both teams managed wins during the opening weekend with Counties beating Auckland 16-14 and Taranaki running out 34-29 victors over Waikato.

In terms of team news for this one, All Black Waisake Naholo is set to turn out for Taranaki this, and the massive winger will be looking to make a point having been left out of the All Blacks starting line-up for the opening two Rugby Championship clashes with Australia.

Verdict: Taranaki 4/10
I’m expecting a big response from Taranaki this weekend. They were nowhere near their best against Wellington and they’ll want to show that that result was a mere blip rather than a sign of things to come.


Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets.net

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