Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Mitre 10 Cup: Round 5 Preview

Mitre 10 Cup: Round 5 Preview

Rugby player passes ball

The Mitre 10 Cup round-robin phase reaches its midway point this weekend. Darry Worthington previews all of the Round 5 action.

The Mitre 10 Cup is starting to heat up with the battle for semi-final berths and avoidance of the drop to the Championship starting to really take shape. Round 5 could have a massive bearing on both of these races.

Manawatu v Northland
Thursday 5 September
Central Energy Trust Arena
09:35


To Win (80 Mins)
Manawatu 6/10

Draw 22/1
Northland 29/20

Handicap
Manawatu
Northland


*Handicap to be added upon release

We kick things off with a cross-conference affair between struggling Championship sides Manawatu and Northland.

The visitors have only managed to win one game thus far with their sole victory coming in Round in 1 where they beat minnows Southland by ten points. Manawatu's have fared even worse and have yet to win a game.

Both teams head into this one off the back of disappointing defeats with the hosts going down 37-20 to Otago and Northland losing 28-43 to Hawke's Bay.

Verdict: Manawatu 6/10
Both teams have been extremely poor this season and I don't really feel too confident tipping either. I won't be punting on this one but if I was forced to I'd probably take the hosts on the straight.

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Hawke's Bay v Southland
Friday 6 September
McLean Park
07:45

To Win (80 Mins)
Hawke's Bay 1/50
Draw 40/1

Southland 19/2

Handicap
Hawke's Bay
Southland

*Handicap to be added upon release


Hawke's Bay will be looking to continue their solid start to the season when they take on tournament whipping boys Southland.

The hosts have registered three wins from their opening four games with the only blemish on their record being their 27-27 Round 2 draw with Wellington. They enjoyed yet another solid showing last weekend beating Northland 28-43.

While Hawke's Bay are yet to taste defeat this term, Southland are yet to register a win with the Stags losing all four of their opening games. They head into Friday's fixture off the back of their heaviest defeat this term which saw them go down 80-0 to a Rya n Crotty inspired Canterbury side.

Verdict: Hawke's Bay (-) *Handicap to be added upon release
The hosts will have no troubles putting 50 points past a Southland side that is missing a whole host of quality players and is in shocking form. 

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Counties Manakau v Tasman
Friday 6 September
Navigation Homes Stadium
09:45

To Win (80 Mins)
Counties 6/1
Draw 30/1
Tasman 1/11

Handicap
Counties
Tasman


*Handicap to be added upon release

Counties are next up to take on Jaggernaught Premiership outfit Tasman.

The visitors have won their opening four games by extremely comfortable scorelines with their narrowest winning margin coming in Round 4 where they beat in-form Championship outfit Taranaki by ten-points.

The hosts have endured a far tougher start to the season than their opponents and come into this game with only one win to their names. The aforementioned victory came in Round 2 where they beat North Harbour 25-39. Counties have played some good rugby this term, however, and they have been well rewarded picking up a number of try-scoring bonus points as well as losing bonus points.

Verdict: Tasman (-) *Handicap to be added upon release
No one can stop this Markos team at the minute. I expect the visitors to win a high-scoring affair by more than 16 points.

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North Habour v Waikato
Saturday 7 September

North Habour Stadium
07:05

To Win (80 Mins)
North Harbour 12/10

Draw 20/1
Waikato 7/10

Handicap
North Harbour

Waikato
*Handicap to be added upon release

We open up Saturday's proceedings with an All-Premiership clash between North Harbour and Waikato. Both teams have tasted defeat this term with North Harbour only winning one of their other four games and drawing another. Waikato have managed to bag two victories and a draw thus far and sit in third place on the Premiership standings three points ahead of their opponents for this weekend.

Round 4 saw the sides register contrasting results with Waikato drawing within reigning Premiership champions Auckland and North Harbour going down by eight points to Championship outfit Bay of Plenty.

Verdict: Waikato 7/10 *Handicap to be added upon release
I'm on the visitors here. They showed a lot of heart last weekend and if they can be more clinical then they should be able to grab a win this Saturday. 
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Bay of Plenty v Wellington
Saturday 7 September

Rotorua International Stadium
09:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Bay of Plenty 21/20
Draw 20/1
Wellington 8/10


Handicap

Bay of Plenty
Wellington

*Handicap to be added upon release

Bay of Plenty will be looking to keep ahold of their lofty position on the Championship ladder when they take on wellington side who will be looking to entrench themselves in the semi-final berths.

Bay have won three of their opening four games with their only taste of defeat coming courtesy of Auckland who beat 19-13 in Round 3. They enjoyed a solid return to form in Round 4 as they bounced back from that defeat to Auckland by beating North Harbour by eight points.

Like their hosts, Wellington have only tasted defeat once this term winning two and drawing one of their opening four fixtures. They head into Saturday's clash off the back of a decent 29-22 come-from-behind victory over Counties.

Verdict: Bay of Plenty 21/20 *Handicap to be added upon release
The Steamers are a great side and I cannot see Wellington getting one over them on home soil.

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Auckland v Canterbury
Sunday 8 September
Eden Park
04:05

To Win (80 Mins)
Auckland 7/10
Draw 20/1

Canterbury 5/4
Handicap
Auckland
Canterbury

*Handicap to be added upon release

Premiership heavyweights Auckland and Canterbury will square off in the first instalment of Sunday's doubleheader.

The visitors managed to put an end to their horror start to the season last weekend as they ran riot against Southland running up an 80-0 scoreline. The victory was inspired by All Black Ryan Crotty whose first-half cameo, which featured two tries, laid the foundation for his side to run up the cricket score. Unfortunately for Canterbury, Crotty will return to the All Black set up and play no further part in the Mitre 10 Cup.

Auckland are fast becoming draw specialists racking up their second draw of the weekend last Sunday as they were held to a 20-20 stalemate by Waikato. That was their second draw of the season with their first being a 28-28 tie with Wellington back in Round 2. They have won their other two fixtures, however, and currently sit in second place on the Premiership standings.

Verdict: Canterbury 5/4 *Handicap to be added upon release
I think the Cantabs have rediscovered their mojo and will make it back-to-back wins over an Auckland side that has well and truly rode their luck this term.
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Otago v Taranaki
Sunday 8 September
Forsyth Barr

09:35

To Win (80 Mins)

Otago 23/10
Draw 20/1
Taranaki 7/20


Handicap
Otago
Taranaki


*Handicap to be added upon release

Otago will defend the 'Log 'O Wood' in Sunday's Ranfurly Shield match. The hosts have enjoyed a decent start to their season and have managed to salve off two Ranfurly Challenge already beating Southland 41-22 in the first challenge and Manawatu 37-20 in the second. They have lost their other two fixtures this term, though, going down 50-7 to Bay of Plenty in the opening round and 29-21 to Hawke's Bay in Round 3.

Taranaki have enjoyed a really good start to the campaign and only tasted defeat for the first time last week as they were beaten 18-28 by Tasman. There's no shame in losing to Tasman by ten points as the Markos have been on fire this year.

Verdict: Taranaki (-) *Handicap to be added upon release
I think the 'Log 'o Wood' will change hands this coming weekend. My money is on Taranaki taking this one by more than nine points. 



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Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets

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