Mitre 10 Cup: Round 4 Preview

Rugby player passes ball

There's still plenty of Mitre 10 Cup action headed your way with six fixtures set to go down this coming weekend. 

We're almost at the midway point of the 2018 Mitre 10 Cup round-robin phase and things really are starting to heat up in both the Premiership and Championship.

This week has already seen one game played with Championship outfit, Waikato, getting one over in-form Premiership outfit, Wellington. We could well be in for a few more upsets this weekend.

Otago v Northland
Friday 7 September
Forsyth Barr Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Otago 3/10
Draw 19/1
Northland 26/10

We kick off Friday's double header with a clash between Championship duo, Otago and Northland. The hosts head into this one off the back of an impressive 17-50 victory over Manawatu while Northland make the trip having edged Taranaki 18-17.

Only one point separates the two sides on the Championship standings with Otago currently occupying fourth place and Northland sitting in at fifth. And a win for either would do their semi-final hopes the wealth of good.

Verdict: Northland 26/10
Yes, Otago were good last week but Manawatu played right into their hands by implementing a far too expansive gameplan. Northland will be a lot more shrewd this weekend and I can see them sneaking a famous away win.


Auckland v Tasman
Friday 7 September
Eden Park

To Win (80 Mins)
Auckland 31/20
Draw 17/1
Tasman 11/20

Auckland will be looking for their fourth win of the campaign when they take on a Tasman side that is also yet to lose a fixture.

This game will have a heavy bearing on the semi-final make up with both sides currently locked on points at the top of the Premiership standings.

The hosts, who just managed to avoid relegation last year, racked up their third win of the campaign last week as they beat Waikato 35-17 at Eden Park. Tasman were also in impressive form during Round 3 as they beat a plucky North Harbour 20-32 away from home.

Verdict: Auckland 31/20
I can't really understand why Auckland are available at such a generous price. They are playing good rugby and I fully expect them to claim the spoils on their own turf.


Southland v Counties Manukau
Saturday 8 September
Rugby Park

To Win (80 Mins)
Southland 7/1
Draw 58/1

Counties 1/20

Tournament whipping boys Southland will be looking to garner their first win of the season when hit and miss Counties Manukau come knocking this Saturday.

Both teams sit at the foot of their respective tables with Southland having only managed to claim one point from their opening three games while Counties have a tally of eight points from two matches.

The visitors do head into this one off the back of a win, however, as they beat Hawke's Bay 25-29 last Sunday. Southland didn't fare as well in Round 3 as they were beaten 52-7 by Wellington.

Verdict: Southland
I'm not going to have anything but 
a R15 strike on this one, but I'm quietly confident that Southland may just spring a surprise. Despite being hammered by Wellington last week, Southland actually looked a decent side during the second stanza.


Hawke's Bay v Bay of Plenty
Saturday 8 September
McClean Park

To Win (80 Mins)
Hawke's Bay 19/10
Draw 20/1
Bay of Plenty 9/20

It's the 'Battle of the Bays' next up with Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay squaring off in a top of the Championship clash.

The visitors currently occupy first spot on the standings, four points clear of their opponents. They do head into this one off the back of a 25-29 defeat to Counties, however.

Bay of Plenty also head into this one off the back of a defeat as they went down by 19-31 to Canterbury in Round 3.

Verdict: Hawke's Bay 19/10
I like the hosts to take this one. They've been solid on home soil and I can see them gaining another victory in front of their home faithful.


Wellington v North Harbour
Sunday 9 September
Westpac Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Wellington 1/3

Draw 30/1
North Harbour 13/5

*forecast odds - to be added on release

Wellington will be looking to bounce back from their midweek 43-31 defeat to Championship side Waikato when they lock horns with a North Harbour outfit who went down 20-32 to Tasman during Round 3.

The hosts for Sunday's first fixture rested a ton of first-stringers for their midweek clash so as to concentrate on this fixture. As such, their run-on side will be fresh and raring to go.

Verdict: Wellington 1/3
I'm expecting a big backlash from the Wellington boys. With their star players back, the hosts should have no problems winning this one by more than 13 points. 


Taranaki v Waikato
Sunday 9 September
Toll Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Taranaki 1/5
Draw 25/1
Waikato 7/2

*forecast odds - to be added on release

Waikato and Taranaki will have the honour of bringing the curtain down on Round 4 of the Mitre 10 Cup when the two sides square off in a Ranfurly Shield Clash on Sunday.

The hosts for this encounter suffered their second defeat of the campaign last week as they went down 18-17 to Northland in an absolute war of attrition.

Waikato had a much better time of it in their last outing as they beat a second-string Wellington outfit 43-31.

Verdict: Taranaki 1/5
I'm expecting Taranaki to edge what should be an extremely entertaining game of rugby.  

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets

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