Mitre 10 Cup: Round 10 Preview

Rugby player passes ball

This weekend will see the 2018 Mitre 10 Cup round-robin phase come to a close. 

The Mitre 10 Cup reaches boiling point this weekend with semi-final berths and home semi-final rights still up for grabs in both the Premiership and Championship. While there are a few dead rubbers thrown into the mix, most of the five games taking place on Saturday and Sunday are significant. As such, you're not going to want to miss a minute of the action.

Bay of Plenty v Northland
Saturday 13 October
Tauranga Domain


To Win (80 Mins)
Bay of Plenty 11/10
Draw 16/1
Northland 8/10

We kick proceedings off with an all-Championship affair between fifth-placed Bay of Plenty and fourth-placed Northland. The hosts have no chance of advancing to the semi-finals while the visitors are assured a semi-final berth but will be looking to move up into third to avoid a likely away date with in-form Waikato.

The two sides head into this one off the back of contrasting results with Bay of Plenty beating Southland 22-26 and Northland going down 28-71 to Waikato.

Verdict: Bay of Plenty 11/10
The host have nothing to lose here, which means they will have no fear and are likely to attack from everywhere. I can see their bold approach to the contest reaping dividends.


Waikato v Otago
Saturday 13 October
FMG Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Waikato 3/10
Draw 22/1

Otago 49/20

Waikato will be looking to secure top spot in the Championship when they take on Otago in Saturday's second fixture. All the hosts need to do to guarantee themselves hosting rights to the final - should they advance that far - is picking up a point from this fixture. Otago, on the other hand, needs to garner a win here and hope that Hawke's Bay go down to Tasman if they are to secure a home semi-final.

The two teams head into this one off the back of contrasting results with Waikato hammering Northland 28-71 and Otago going down 21-47 to Tasman.

Verdict: Waikato 3/10
They really are on fire at the moment and while I can see Otago giving them a run for their money in the first half, I can see the hosts pulling away during the second stanza. My money is on Waikato taking this one by 15 points or more.

Counties Manukau v Canterbury
Saturday 13 October
Navigation Homes Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Counties 47/10
Draw 30/1

Canterbury 1/8

Saturday's final fixture will see a Counties Manukau side desperate to avoid relegation take on a Canterbury outfit who are hunting a home semi-final berth, The hosts head into this one only three points clear of last-placed side Taranaki, who could actually have their relegation confirmed if they go down to Wellington on Thursday.

Canterbury are in a similar scenario to Counties as they need results to go their way in order to book a home semi. But with home semi-final rivals Auckland only playing their final round-robin fixture on Sunday, Canterbury won't know their fate at kick-off and will look to get the full five-point haul to ply the pressure on their rivals.

Verdict: Canterbury 1/8
I think Taranaki will be relegated by the time this one rolls around so Counties will have little hinging on this match. They'll likely take their foot off the gas, which will allow Canterbury to run riot here. My money is on visitors taking it by 18 points or more, 

Auckland v North Harbour
Sunday 14 October
Eden Park

To Win (80 Mins)
Auckland 2/5

Draw 25/1
North Harbour 27/11

Auckland will be looking to secure top spot on the Premiership log when they take on a North Harbour side who still have a shot at claiming a semi-final berth.

The host have enjoyed a good week so far as they picked up a bonus point victory over Southland midweek. The win has seen them move three points clear at the top of the Premiership standings which means they just need a victory here to secure top spot on the log.

North Harbour, on the other hand, really do need to bag the full five-point haul here as they are level on points with fourth-placed Wellington, who have a rather simple final game against Taranaki.

Verdict: Auckland 2/5
I don't expect them to be as expansive as they have been in the past but I can still see Auckland grabbing the win. 

Manawatu v Southland
Sunday 14 October
Central Energy Trust Arena

To Win (80 Mins)
Manawatu 2/17
Draw 75/2
Southland 27/11

Southland will be looking to close their horrid season on a high note when they take on Manawatu this Sunday. The hosts head into this game off the back of another heavy defeat as they went down 8-56 to Auckland this past Wednesday.

Manawatu have also endured a wretched season only winning two of the nine fixtures they have played. They head into Sunday's clash off the back of a 45-17 defeat to Hawke's Bay.

Verdict: Southland 27/11
I'm backing the hosts to end their campaign on a positive note. Manawatu aren't a great side and they may well struggle here.

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets

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