Mitre 10 Cup: Week 4 Preview

We take look at five of the headline Mitre 10 Cup clashes happening between Thursday and Saturday, including what should be a blockbuster between Counties Manukau and North Harbour.

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Counties Manukau v North Harbour | Thursday 7 September | Ecolight Stadium | 09:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Counties 7/10 | Draw 19/1 | Harbour 12/10
Counties (-1.5) 9/10 | Harbour (+1.5) 9/10

Counties will be looking to bounce back from last week’s dramatic 30-27 defeat to Taranaki when they take on an extremely impressive North Harbour outfit. The visitors produced one of the shock results of the season last weekend as they beat Auckland 57-10. The victory has seen Harbour move up to second in the Premiership standings, which is three places above this weekend’s opponents.

Verdict: Harbour 13/10
Harbour is a team on fire at the moment with last week’s big victory in the derby against Auckland illustrating that their unbeaten start to the campaign was no fluke. My money is on Harbour continuing their unbeaten streak here.

Canterbury v Southland | Friday 8 September | AMI Stadium |07:45

To Win (80 Mins)
Canterbury 1/100 | Draw 33/1 | Southland 13/1

Canterbury are heavy favourites to keep their unbeaten record intact when they take on Southland in Ranfurly Shield encounter this Friday. The defending Champions have been immaculate touch during the opening salvos of the season, claiming try scoring bonus points in all three of their fixtures. Championship side Southland have endured a more torrid start to their season are yet to win a game.

Verdict: Canterbury 1/100
You could throw your house on the Canterbury win and you wouldn’t even break a sweat this Friday morning as Canterbury are that good. If you get a offered a handicap anywhere below 43.5, I suggest having a large strike on it.

Manawatu v Bay of Plenty | Friday 8 September | Central Energy Trust Arena | 09:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Manawatu 9/20 | Draw 22/1 | Bay of Plenty 18/10

Manawatu and Bay of Plenty square off in an all-Championship affair in Friday’s final fixture. Both teams have enjoyed a less than fruitful start to the season and have only won a match apiece. The hosts come into this one off the back of a 40-30 defeat to Otago while the visitors make the trip having gone down 10-31 to Wellington.

Verdict: Manawatu 9/20
There’s really very little separating these sides so we should be in for a tight affair here. I will be avoiding this game but if you must have a punt, my tip is to back the home side.

Auckland v Taranaki | Saturday 9 September | Eden Park | 04:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Auckland 14/10 | Draw 19/1 | Taranaki 6/10

Auckland, whether it’s Super Rugby or the Mitre10 Cup you boys always end up being the biggest disappointment. Auckland were at their disappointing best last weekend going down 57-10 to North Harbour. And while North Harbour have punched above their weight this term, it does not excuse Auckland’s lacklustre performance. They now face a tricky task bouncing back from last week’s heavy derby defeat as they take on a Taranaki side who have only lost once this term.

Verdict: Auckland 27/20
This is bordering on sadomasochism but I can’t help but back the hosts here. Yes, they’ve been pathetic thus far but I think last week’s embarrassing defeat will spur them on to a more polished performance. It’s a massive risk but the odds are decent enough so as to have a small strike on it and still reap a healthy return.

Northland v Waikato | Sunday 9 September | Toll Stadium | 06:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Northland 7/4 | Draw 21/1 | Waikato 9/20

Northland will be looking to build on last week’s impressive win over Southland when they play hosts to a Waikato side that has been in sensational form over the past fortnight. The visitors bounced back from their opening round defeat to Taranaki with wins over Counties and Auckland. This weekend’s hosts have also been solid over the past two weeks, going down narrowly to Auckland and then running riot against Southland.

Verdict: Waikato 9/20
Waikato look to be a force to be reckoned with this year and I can see them making it three wins from four matches here.

Written by Darry Worthington for

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