Mitre 10 Cup: Round 8 Weekend Preview

Rugby player passes ball

This weekend will see five of the penultimate round-robin Mitre 10 Cup fixtures go down.

The Mitre 10 Cup is about to reach its boiling point with only two rounds of regular season fixtures remaining. There are a whole lot of scenarios that could play out this weekend with both conferences semi-final berths still undecided at the time of writing.

Northland v Waikato
Saturday 6 October
Toll Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Northland 15/10
Draw 17/1

Waikato 6/10

It's a big weekend for both  Northland and Waikato with both sides gunning for home Premiership semi-finals. The visitors have one hand on hosting rights as they sit at the top of the log on 28 points - a bonus point win here would secure them first spot with a game to spare. The hosts face more of a challenge as they sit third, two points behind second-placed Hawke's Bay.

The duo head into this one off contrasting fortunes with Waikato continuing their scintillating run of form by beating Southland 42-1, while Northland went down 54-41 to Hawke's Bay.

Verdict: Waikato 6/10
They just keep on racking up the wins! I cannot see Waikato failing to win this one. I reckon they'll take it by seven points or more.


North Harbour v Counties Manukau
Saturday 6 October
QBE Stadium


To Win (80 Mins)
North Harbour 3/10
Draw 21/1

Counties 28/10

North Harbour will be looking to keep their Championship semi-final hopes alive when they take on a Counties Manukau side looking to avoid the drop to the Championship. Harbour head into this one four points off fourth-placed Wellington, who face Auckland this week. Counties, on the other hand, sit two points off cellar-dwellers, Taranaki.

The hosts head into this one off the back of a 26-55 victory over Taranaki while Counties make the trip having gone down 20-24 to Championship outfit Northland.

Verdict: North Harbour 3/10
Both sides have a lot to play for here so I suspect this one will be a rather tight affair. As such, I'll be having a strike on the straight home win.

Canterbury v Taranaki
Saturday 6 October
Christchurch Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Canterbury 1/8
Draw 30/1
Taranaki 5/1

Reigning Champions Canterbury will be looking to advance their cause for a home semi-final when they take on last-placed Taranaki in Saturday's final fixture. Canterbury currently occupies second spot on the Championship but are only a point clear of third-placed Auckland, who have a game in hand.

The Cantabs head into this one off the back of a solid 49-24 win over Hawke's Bay while Taranaki come into this one off a 26-55 loss to North Harbour.

Verdict: Canterbury 1/8
The visitors should have far too much firepower for a Taranaki side that seems destined to drop to the Championship. My money is one Canterbury taking this one by 20 points or more. 

Southland v Bay of Plenty
Sunday 7 October
Rugby Park

To Win (80 Mins)

Bay of Plenty

*Odds to be added on release

Southland and Bay of Plenty will go head-to-head this Sunday in what is essentially an exhibition match with neither side playing for anything bar pride. The hosts currently reside at the foot of the Championship table while Bay of Plenty are 10 points off the semi-final places after they went down 45-34 to Otago this past Wednesday.

Southland also head into this one off the back of a defeat as they went down by 31 points to Waikato last weekend

Verdict: Southland *Odds to be added on release
I quite fancy the hosts to register their first win here. They've played some decent rugby at times this season and will be keen to end things off on a high.

Otago v Tasman
Sunday 7 October

FMG Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)


*Odds to be added on release

Otago will face the unenviable task of taking on Premiership high-flyers Tasman this Saturday. The hosts do head into this one off a solid run of form, however, and currently reside in second place on the Championship standings.

Both teams head into this one off the back of victories with Tasman beating Wellington 22-28 and Otago beating Bay of Plenty 45-34 this past Wednesday

Verdict: Tasman *Odds to be added on release
Otago have produced some good rugby in recent weeks but I can see them coming up short against an Otago side that is looking to top the Premiership.

Written by Darry Worthington for

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