Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Mitre 10 Cup: Round 9 Preview

Mitre 10 Cup: Round 9 Preview

Rugby player passes ball

Darry Worthington previews the penultimate set of Mitre 10 round robin fixtures, which get underway on Thursday the 2nd of October.

The Mitre 10 Cup is set to heat up significantly this weekend with play-off berths, the battle to avoid relegation and home semi-final places sure to be heavily influenced by this week's seven fixtures.

Counties Manukau v Hawke's Bay
Thursday 3 October
Navigation Holmes Park 
08:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Counties 16/10
Draw 20/1
Hawke's Bay 11/20

Counties will be looking to keep themselves in with a chance of avoiding relegation by beating Hawke's Bay this weekend. They currently sit six points off second-to-last Premiership placed side Waikato, who face a tough encounter with a desperate Taranaki outfit.

While Counties are looking to avoid relegation, Hawke's Bay will be looking to extend their three-point lead at the top of the Championship standings. They held a much firmer grip on top spot up until last weekend's 51-24 defeat to Bay of Plenty.

Verdict: Hawke's Bay 11/20
I can't see Counties getting anything from their clash with this well-drilled Hawke's Bay outfit.
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North Harbour v Wellington
Friday 4 October
North Harbour Stadium
08:35

To Win (80 Mins)
North Harbour 17/10
Draw 20/1
Wellington 5/10

North Harbour will be looking to cement their spot in the Premiership play-off places when they take on a red-hot Wellington outfit.

The hosts managed a result of note this past weekend as the beat an in-form Turbo side 16-29 at the Central Trust Stadium, with the victory moving them two points clear of fifth-placed Auckland.

Wellington were also in great touch in Round 8 as they posted a 57-36 win over Championship strugglers Northland. While they were excellent with ball-in-hand, Wellington will be slightly worried about how many points they coughed up.

Verdict: North Harbour 17/10
Both of these teams know how to score tries so this could be a rather tight high-scorer. I fancy North Harbour to remain within the handicap.
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Bay of Plenty v Manawatu
Saturday 5 October
Tauranga Domain
03:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Bay of Plenty 1/12
Draw 30/1
Manawatu 6/1

Championship table-toppers Bay of Plenty will be looking to secure a home semi-final berth by beating a Manawatu side that is only three points off the Premiership semi-final places.

The Bay head into this one off the back of a famous win over Hawke's Bay with this weekend's hosts hammering their opponents 51-24. The result has seen them pull three points clear at the top of the Championship standings.

Manawatu's sensational run of form came to a halt last weekend as they were beaten 13-26 by North Harbour.  

Verdict: Manawatu 6/1
I'm only going to have a strike on this line if Ngani Laumape turns out for Manawatu. The man is a freak and has carried this Manawatu side since he returned from All Black duty. If he doesn't play, then you can throw a decent-sized bet on Bay of Plenty and be confident about it.
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Auckland v Southland
Saturday 5 October
Eden Park
06:05

To Win (80 Mins)
Auckland 1/50
Draw 30/1
Southland 10/1

Southland will be looking to register their second win of the campaign when they take on an Auckland side in freefall.

The hosts have lost three of their last four fixtures and head into this one off the back of a 40-0 drubbing at the hands of Tasman.

Southland wasn't been able to follow up their Round 7 victory over Counties Manakau going down 19-0 to Taranaki in Round 8.

Verdict: Southland 10/1
While Auckland will get the win here and may even claim a bonus point, I can't see them clearing what will be a mammoth handicap against a dogged Southland outfit.
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Otago v Canterbury
Saturday 5 October
Forsyth Barr
08:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Otago 26/10
Draw 20/1
Canterbury 3/10

Otago will be looking to retain the Ranfurly Shield when they take on Canterbury that are still in the hunt for an unlikely Premiership home semi-final berth.

Otago have been spectacular during Shield matches their latest defence seeing them beat a much-fancied Waikato outfit by ten-points in Round 8.

Canterbury also enjoyed a solid showing in Round 8 bouncing back from their shock defeat to Manawatu the week prior to beat Counties Manakau 38-5. 

Verdict: Canterbury 3/10
I fancy the visitors to finally put an end to Otago's Ranfurly Shield reign.
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Tasman v Northland
Sunday 6 October
Trafalgar Park
03:05

To Win (80 Mins)
Tasman 1/100
Draw 30/1
Northland 15/1

When you see a team priced up at 1/100 for the win you know it's going to be a long day for their opponents. This will be the case for a Northland side who have only one win to their names this season and are rooted to the foot of the Championship table.

Verdict: Tasman 1/100
I could way-lyrical about the undefeated Premiership leaders all day but there's not much point in doing that. You can back in minus handicap under 38 with confidence here.
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Waikato v Taranaki
Sunday 6 October
FMG Stadium
05:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Waikato 9/20
Draw 20/1
Taranaki 37/10

Two desperate sides will face off in the final game of Round 9 with the Premiership's sixth-placed team taking on the Championship's fourth-placed team.

Waikato need the win here - and a few results to go there way - if they are to head into the final set of round-robin fixtures safe from the drop to the Championship and in with a shout of making it through the back door to the Premiership semi-finals.  Taranaki, on the other hand, need the win to consolidate their position inside the Champions's top 4.

The two teams head into this one off the back of contrasting results with Taranaki beating Southland by 19 points and Waikato going down to Otago by ten points.

Verdict: Waikato 9/20
I can see Waikato picking up a very valuable win here. I would feel comfortable backing them on a minus handicap that doesn't exceed ten points

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Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets