Mitre 10 Cup: Premiership Final Preview

Player stands over rugby ball


Canterbury will host yet another Mitre 10 Cup Premiership final when they take on Tasman this Saturday morning.

Canterbury and Tasman will lock horns in a Mitre 10 Premiership final for the second consecutive season. The hosts were far too strong for their opponents in last year's showpiece, where they ran out 43-27 victors. The visitors were also handed a rugby lesson when the two sides met earlier this year as they went down 0-39 in the opening round.

So, will history repeat itself or will Tasman produce one of the upset victories of the decade?


Canterbury v Tasman | Saturday 28 October | AMI stadium | 08:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Canterbury 1/4 | Draw 28/1 | Tasman 3/1
Handicap
Canterbury (-10.5) 9/10 | Tasman (+10.5) 9/10

To Lift the Cup
Canterbury 2/9 | 28/10

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Canterbury

Canterbury find themselves hosting their eighth Mitre 10 Cup final after Tasman beat table topping Taranaki last weekend. The Cantabrians have never lost a final at home, winning all eight of their home finals.

The hosts, despite being bereft of last year's player of the tournament Jordie Barret, enjoyed another stellar season only losing to Wellington and Taranaki during the round robin phase, they will also see the return of talismanic pivot, Richie Mo'unga, who did duty for the All Blacks last weekend. The fly-half has enjoyed yet another stellar Mitre 10 campaign and will be key to Canterbury's chances this weekend.

The men in 'Black and Red' were given a real run for their money by Northland last week but managed to run out 35-24 victors. The game was the ideal preparation for the defending champions who had their attack tested by a Northland side who were sound defensively.

Tasman

No one expected Tasman to win their semi-final last week, and I went as far as to tip Taranaki on the minus. The visitors had other ideas and managed to run out 29-30 winners in a pulsating affair. They will once again have the odds stacked against them when they take on their local rivals at the AMI Stadium.

The visitors may have endured a rather slow start to their campaign but they closed out the round-robin phase in style winning four of their final six fixtures. They are a handy side when it comes to the attacking side of the game, but they will need to sharpen up on defence if they are to overcome the seemingly insurmountable odds this weekend. They head into this match off the back of a solid defensive showing, as they held out well during the final 10 minutes of last weekend's semi-final clash against Taranaki.

Verdict: Canterbury (-10.5) 9/10
The return of Mo'unga is a massive coupe for Canterbury. The general has marshalled this talented Canterbarian backline masterfully, and I can see him putting in a great shift here that leads his side to a comfortable victory. 


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