Mitre 10 Cup: (Championship Semi-Finals) Waikato v Northland Preview

Rugby player passes ball

The first of the Mitre 10 Cup Championship semi-finals will see Waikato and Northland square off at the FMG Stadium on Saturday the 20th of October.

Championship table-toppers Waikato will be looking to book a home final when they square off with Northland in the first of the day's two Championship semi-final encounters. The hosts are on a great run of form and head into this one as strong favourites with the bookmakers.

Waikato v Northland
Saturday 20 October
FMG Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Waikato 27/100
Draw 28/1
Northland 11/4

*forecast odds

The hosts have endured a marvelous two or so months which saw them win six games on the trot. This run of form came to an abrupt end last week as they went down to Otago 19-23 in a Ranfurly shield tie.

It's not the first time Waikato have had to bounce back from a disappointing defeat this season as they struggled during the early phases of the tournament and only bagged their first win in Round 4.

While losing the Ranfurly shield will have been a disappointment, it must be noted that Waikato did rest a few of their big guns, who will be fresh for Saturday's all-important encounter.

Despite going down by three-points to Bay of Plenty this past weekend, Northland still managed to book a semi-final berth. They face an uphill battle if they are to gain promotion to the Premiership, however, as even if they do beat much-fancied Waikato they would still have to play the final away from home.

Northland have been in patchy form of late losing three of their last four fixtures. They head into Saturday's encounter off the back off a 38-35 loss to Bay of Plenty and will need to up their game if they are to get one over what will be a fired up Waikato outfit.

Verdict: Waikato 27/100 *forecast odds
They may have lost the Ranfurly Shield last week but I can see Waikato achieving their ultimate goal of making the Championship final. My money is on the hosts taking this one by six points or more.

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets

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