Mitre 10 Cup 2018: Round 2 Friday Preview

Rugby player passes ball

The Mitre 10 Cup action continues on Friday the 24th of August with two intriguing fixtures set to go down. 

Friday throws up two Mitre 10 Cup fixtures with the win-less Otago taking on an in-form Hawke's Bay side in an all-Championship affair, while later in the day Taranaki and Manawatu will square off in a cross-conference fixture.

Otago v Hawke's Bay
Friday 24 August
Forsyth Barr Stadium
09:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Otago 1/4

Draw 21/1
Hawke's Bay 32/10


Handicap
Otago (-9.5) 17/20
Hawke's Bay (+9.5) 17/20 

Otago
It certainly wasn't the start the men from Otago were looking for as they went down 34-16 to Wellington in the opening round. They actually put in a rather good display against a very talented Wellington group, who were deserved winners on the day.

Hawke's Bay are nowhere near as good a side as Wellington are, so Otago will fancy their chances at home, especially considering they won last year's fixture 21-64 away from home.

Hawke's Bay
This weekend's visitors got their 2018 campaign off to an ideal start as they beat Southland 10-31 in rather testing conditions. The bonus point victory has seen them move to the top of the Championship standings heading into the second round.

Hawke's Bay will face a much trickier tie this coming Friday with Otago sure to be fired-up after putting in a heartening display against Premiership outfit Wellington. The visitors will need their forward pack to repeat last week's efforts, while the back division will need to be just as clinical as they were last time out.

Verdict: Otago (-9.5) 17/20
I can see the home side taking the spoils here. They looked good against Wellington and Hawke's Bay are certainly a step down in class. 

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Taranaki v Manawatu
Friday 24 August
Yarrow Stadium
11:35


To Win (80 Mins)
Taranaki 1/5

Draw 22/1
Manawatu 7/2


Handicap
Taranaki (-10.5) 17/20
Manawatu (+10.5) 17/20

Taranaki
A wounded Taranaki outfit will look to bounce back against Manawatu this weekend after being handed an absolute rugby lesson from Championship side Bay of Plenty. The Bulls looked a far cry from the side that topped the Premiership standings last year, as they put in an abysmal display during their 30-10 defeat to Bay of Plenty.

Taranaki will need to work on all facets of their game if they are to bounce back here. Their set-piece was atrocious last weekend, while most have more synchronicity than the Taranaki back division had on attack.

Manawatu
Manawatu had a much better time of it during the opening round as they beat Otago 25-19. While the win is a welcome one, the Turbos still have a lot of work to do if they are to challenge for a place in the Championship semi-finals.

The Turbos won't have too many fond memories of this game as they went down 46-25 to their opponents during a Ranfurly Shield Challenge at the close of last year's regular season. They may feel that they could dish out a bit of revenge side here, however, as Taranaki could struggle again this weekend.

Verdict: Taranaki 2/9
This should be a rather close clash but my money is on the hosts edging it by no more than five points.



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Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets

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