Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Mitre 10 Cup: Round 1 Preview

Mitre 10 Cup: Round 1 Preview



New Zealand domestic rugby makes a return this week with Round 1 of the 2020 Mitre 10 Cup kicking off on Friday the 11th of September. Darry Worthing previews all the action below.

Image copyright - Steve Haag Sports

This year's Mitre 10 Cup is set to be one of the best in the history of the competition with a number of All Blacks likely to feature for large swathes of the tournament.

With a number of national players available, some of the tournament's traditionally weak teams will be a lot stronger than they have been in the past.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphoneNorth Harbour v Canterbury
Friday 11 September
QBE Stadium
09:05

To Win (80 Mins)
North Harbour 13/2 
Draw 22/1
Canterbury 1/12

Handicap
North Harbour
Canterbury

*handicap to be added upon release

First up we have a North Harbour taking on Canterbury in an all-Premiership affair. The hosts missed out on the semi-finals last year finishing fifth on the Premiership table while Canterbury went down 30-19 to Wellington in the 2019 semis.

Canterbury have an extremely loaded side with All Blacks Richie Mo'unga, George Bridge and Sam Whitelock available for the opener. North Habour have far less All Blacks at their disposal with only Karl Tu'inuakafe returning to squad. They do however possess some decent players in the form of Byn Gatland, Bryn Hall and Shaun Stevenson.

Verdict: Canterbury (-)
While the handicap is high I still think the minus is the way to go. I'll only be having a small bet on it though as this is the opening week.

Waikato v Wellington
Saturday 12 September
Waikato Stadium
09:05

To Win (80 Mins)
Waikato 47/20 
Draw 22/1
Wellington 7/20

Handicap
Waikato
Wellington

*Handicap to be added upon release

Next up we've got a clash between last year's Premiership losing finalists, Wellington, and a Waikato side that finished second to last on the Premiership standings in 2019. 

Both sides have fantastic looking squad with Wellington able to field the likes of Asafoa Aumua, TJ Perrenarra, Ardie Savea and the returning Julian Savea. While Waikato have Anton Lienhardt Brown and Damien McKenzie on their roster. 

Verdict: Wellington
The Lions have a really deep squad and I expect them to be one of the dominant forces in the Premiership this season. I reckon they'll start their campaign with a big win over Waikato. 

Otago v Auckland
Saturday 12 September
Forsyth Barr Stadium
04:05

To Win (80 Mins)
Otago 5/1 
Draw 22/1
Auckland 1/8

Handicap
Otago
Auckland

*Handicap to be added upon release

We head to Forsyth Barr for our next fixture which will see Otago take on a star-studded Auckland squad. This will be the first cross-conference game of the weekend with Auckland playing in the Premiership and Otago playing in the second tier.

The visitors enjoyed a good run of it in last year's 'comp as they made it to the semi-finals where they were beaten 18-9 by eventual Premiership champions, Tasman. Otago also exited at the semi-final stage going down 44-9 to Hawke's Bay. 

Verdict: Auckland (-)
The men from Auckland have an absolutely stacked squad and I cannot see them having any problems clearing the handicap against a limited Otago side.

Counties Manukau v Tasman
Saturday 12 September
EcoLight Stadium
06:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Counties 8/1 
Draw 35/1
Tasman 1/20

Handicap
Counties
Tasman

*Handicap to be added upon release

Reigning champions Tasman will get their title defence underway with a cross-conference clash with last year's relegated Premiership side Counties Manukau. 

The hosts were appalling last term as they slumped to nine defeats from their ten games. They will have a stronger squad this time around, however as both Nepo Laulala and Dalton Papalii are available. 

Speaking of strong squads, Tasman have one of the best in the 'comp with a number of All Blacks, including, Tyrel Lomax, Shannon Frizell, Sevu Reece and Will Jordan

Verdict: Tasman (-)
Tasman will have far too much firepower in the backline for Counties to handle. I'm all over the hosts running up a big score and clearing the handicap here.

Northland v Manawatu
Sunday 13 September
Semenoff Stadium
09:05

To Win (80 Mins)
Northland 13/10
Draw 20/1
Manawatu 13/20

Handicap
Northland
Manawatu

*Handicap to be added upon release

Northland and Manawatu are Sunday's first offering. Both teams are once again in the Championship with Northland having finised second to last in 2019 and Manawatu having gone down 64-3 in their semi-final against Bay of Plenty.

Manawatu will once again lean on star centre Ngane Laumape who spearheaded their run to the final last season while Northland will be hoping All Black centre Jack Goodhue gets them firing.

Verdict: Manawatu 13/20
This will be a great spectacle with Laumape set to take on his All Black rival Jack Goodhue. Should be a great game and I'm going to back the away side to win a bruising encounter. 

Jockeys Ride HorsesTaranaki v Bay of Plenty
Sunday 13 September
TET Stadium 

To Win (80 Mins)
Taranaki 17/20
Draw 20/1
Bay of Plenty 21/20

Handicap 
Taranaki
Bay of Plenty

*Handicap to be added upon release

The penultimate game of the weekend will see Taranaki take on Bay of Plenty. This will be a cross-conference clash with Bay of Plenty having been promoted from Championship last season while Taranaki are in the second tier.

Bay of Plenty haven't really benefitted from players from the ALl Black squad being release but they still have a very strong workman-like squad. Taranaki, on the other hand, will be able to call upon one of the stars in last weekend's North versus South match Tupou Vaa'i as well as All Blacks utility back,  Jordie Barrett 

Verdict: Bay of Plenty 21/20
I rather fancy the away side here. While they are by no means as star-studded as their opponents, they are a well-drilled and tight-knit unit.

Southland v Hawke's Bay
Sunday 13 September
Rugby Park Stadium
06:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Southland 15/2
Draw 35/1 
Hawke's Bay 1/20

Handicap
Southland
Hawke's Bay

*Handicap to be added upon release

Week one comes to a close with Championship whipping boys Southland taking on last season's Championship runners-up Hawke's Bay. 

Southland only one game last season, which was actually a massive improvement on their previous couple of campaigns in which they went winless. Hawke's Bay fared a lot better winning eight and drawing one of their 12 games.

Hawke's Bay have been bolster by All Blacks squad members being available with scrumhalf Brad Webber in line for a start this weekend. Southland have no one involved with the current New Zealand training squad. 

Verdict: Hawke's Bay (-)
I'm expecting Hawke's Bay to enjoy another solid season which starts with a big win over Championship whipping boys, Hawke's Bay 

Register Now with Hollywoodbets Mobile