Mitre 10 Cup: North Harbour vs Northland Preview

Rugby Player passes ball

The 2018 Mitre 10 Cup gets underway on Thursday the 16th of August with a cross-conference clash between North Harbour and Northland.

A blockbuster week of rugby action gets underway this Thursday with Mitre 10 Cup Premiership outfit North Harbour playing host to Championship side Northland.

While one would expect the hosts to get the business done here, it may not be as clear-cut as that with Northland possessing an extremely competitive squad.

North Harbour v Northland
Thursday 16 August
QBE Stadium

09:35

To Win (80 Mins)
North Harbour 2/9
Draw 22/1

Northland 3/1

North Harbour
This is a real acid test for a North Harbour outfit who will be looking to make the Premiership semi-finals again this year. This Thursday's hosts enjoyed a solid campaign last year winning eight of their round-robin games before going down 35-24 to Canterbury in the semi-finals.

North Harbour head into this one as strong favourites with the 'books, with European bookmakers opening up at between 3/10 and 4/10 for the hosts to win. The early handicap lines are between the eight and nine-point mark.

Those sorts of prices are understandable as the hosts have some decent players amongst their squad including Crusaders nine Bryn Gatland and Highlanders' dynamo, Tevita Li.

Northland
They make come into this one as underdogs but any side that underestimates Northland is likely to come unstuck. This weekend's visitors, like their opponents, had a solid 2017 campaign winning eight of their 10 Championship games and then bowing out to an untouchable Wellington side.

This is a very handy Northland squad that features the likes of Kara Pryor and Melbourne Rebels man, Jack Debreczeni. While the latter will add some guile to the backline, it is in the forward pack where Northland look the strongest, with their gnarled veterans sure to provide stiff opposition at the setpiece.

Verdict: North Harbour 3/10
When these two sides met last year, North Harbour managed to win the game 22-31. I think this year will see a much tighter game but with the same side running out as victors. 

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets

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