Mitre 10 Cup 2019: Round 1 Preview

Rugby player passes ball

The 2019 Mitre 10 Cup action will get underway on the 8th of August. Darry Worthington previews the Round 1 action below.

The rugby action will come thick and fast this week with the Mitre 10 Cup adding to an already congested fixture list.

The tournament will kick-off in style with some intriguing clashes going down in week one including a game between Waikato and Canterbury.

Southland v Northland
Thursday 8 August
Rugby Park


To Win (80 Mins)
Southland 9/2
Draw 25/1

Northland 2/13

The 2019 Mitre 10 Cup gets underway with an all-Championship affair as Northland and Southland go head-to-head on Thursday the fourth of August. The visitors enjoyed a decent campaign last season making the Championship semi-finals where they went down 48-26 to eventual champions Waikato.

Southland had a much tougher time of it last season losing all ten of their regular-season games on the way to finishing at the foot of the Championship log. One of their te defeats was a 26-10 loss to Northland.

Verdict: Northland 2/13
Northland has a solid looking squad this year who should be able to see off Southland by more than 14 points. 

Auckland v North Harbour
Friday 10 August
Eden Park

To Win (80 Mins)
Auckland 1/4

Draw 22/1
North Harbour 3/1

Reigning Premiership champions Auckland get their title defence underway with a clash with fellow Premiership side North Harbour. The hosts had a marvellous 2018 campaign winning nine of their ten regular-season games before beating Wellington in the semi-finals and the Canterbury in the final.

North Harbour had a decent campaign themselves missing out on the semi-finals by just four points. They didn't fare too well against Auckland, however, going down 45-29 at this weekend's venue.

Verdict: Auckland 1/4
They have some brilliant players amongst their rands and I can see Auckland getting their campaign off to a flyer by beating North Harbour by more than 10 points. 

Tasman v Wellington
Saturday 10 August

Landsdowne Park

To Win (80 Mins)
Tasman 5/10

Draw 20/1
Wellington 17/10

Saturday kicks off with a clash between last year's defeated Premiership semi-finalists Tasman and Wellington. Both teams had decent campaigns last season with Tasman winning nine of their ten regular-season games and Wellington winning six of their ten.

When the two sides met last season we were treated to a decent spectacle that saw Tasman run out 22-28 victors in Wellington.

Verdict: Tasman 5/10
We should see a similar game to the 2018 clash between the two sides with the winning margin likely to be under the eight-point mark. While I fancy the hosts to get the win, I can't see it being by a big margin.

Counties Manukau v Taranaki
Saturday 10 September
Navigation Homes Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)

Counties 16/10
Draw 20/1
Taranaki 11/20

Counties will be looking for a fast start to the season when they take on last Taranaki who were relegated from the Premiership last season. Both sides had horrid 2018 campaigns the duo only winning two of their ten round-robin phase games.

When the two sides met last season Counties went down 19-26 on home soil. The hosts will have Sonny Bill-Williams turning out for them this week which could help them in midfield.

Verdict: Taranaki 11/20
The Bulls will be looking for a fast start to life in the Championship and I can see them starting their campaign off with a narrow away victory. 

Waikato v Canterbury
Saturday 10 August
FMG Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Waikato 43/20
Draw 20/1
Canterbury 4/10

Waikato start their Premiership campaign off against the most successful side in the tournament's history, Canterbury. The hosts had a slow start to the 2018 season but came home with a wet sail and went on to in the Championship.

Canterbury also started slowly last year but still managed to win eight of their round-robin fixtures before losing the final to Auckland. They have been heavily hit by All Black call-ups but they have some quality young players coming through the ranks.

Verdict: Canterbury 4/10
They may have a very youthful look to them but Canterbury will still be a force to be reckoned with. I can see them winning this one by more than nine points. 

Bay of Plenty v Otago
Sunday 11 August
Tauranga Domain

To Win (80 Mins)
Bay of Plenty 11/10

Draw 20/1
Otago 8/10

The penultimate Round 1 game will see Bay of plenty and Otago lock horns in an all Championship affair. Both teams enjoyed decent campaigns last season with Otago making the Championship final where they went down to Waikato and Bay of Plenty just missing out on the semi-final berths by three points.

When the two sides met last season, Otago ran out 45-34 victors on home soil. And while we may not see as big a scoreline this Sunday, the game should still be a cracker.

Verdict: Bay of Plenty 11/10
I'm going to have a small punt on the home side here. Both teams look rather evenly matched and this one should be won by a narrow margin.

Manawatu v Hawke's Bay
Sunday 11 August
Central Energy Trust Arena

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

As the betting indicates, Sunday's final game should be a very tightly fought affair with Championship sides Manawatu and Hawke's Bay squaring off out in Palmerston North.

The two sides experienced contrasting fortunes last season with Hawke's Bay qualifying for the Championship semi-finals and Manawatu finishing second-to-last on the standings with just three wins to their name.

Hawke's Bay annihilated Manawatu when the two sides met last year as they ran out 45-17 victors at McLean Park.

Verdict: Hawke's Bay 19/20
They've kept the core of their squad from last season and I can see Hawke's Bay claiming another win over Manawatu. 

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Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets

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