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Mitre 10 Cup 2017: Week 2 Preview

Rugby Player Holds Ball

The second round of the 2017 Mitre 10 Cup gets underway on Thursday the 24th of August. We’ve got you covered for what should be an epic round of rugby with our full preview.

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One week into the Mitre 10 and Canterbury already look a shoe-in for the Premiership semis. The defending champions put on a clinical display as they ran out 39-0 victors over local rivals and last year’s beaten Premiership finalists, Tasman. In the Championship, Wellington laid down a marker as they beat Manawatu 29-41.

Will the big guns continue to dominate their respective tiers or will they get brought back down to earth this week?

Southland v North Harbour | Thursday 24 August | Rugby Park | 09:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Southland 33/10 | Draw 24/1 | North Harbour 1/4

Southland will be looking to bounce back from their opening round defeat to Hawke’s Bay when they take on North Harbour in their first home game of the season. This weekend’s hosts gave a solid account of themselves against a much-vaunted Hawke’s Bay side, only going down by eight points. North Harbour, unlike Southland, managed to get their campaign off on a winning note as they defeated Otago 19-17 at the QBE Stadium
Verdict: Southland 33/10
I think Southland will be able to give the visitors a real run for their money. They put in a solid shift against Hawke’s Bay and should be able to put them away. 

Bay of Plenty v Hawke’s Bay | Friday 25 August | Rotorua International Stadium | 07:45

To Win (80 Mins)
Bay of Plenty 29/20 | Draw 21/1 | Hawke’s Bay 6/10

Bay of Plenty and Hawke’s Bay clash at the Rotorua International Stadium in Friday’s opener. The visitors come into this one off the back of a 24-16 victory over Southland while the hosts went down to Northland in their opener by 28 points to 23.

Verdict: Hawke’s Bay 6/10
I’m going the conservative route here and backing Hawke’s Bay on the straight win at 6/10. They have a solid squad and should be able to see off a competitive yet limited Bay of Plenty outfit. 

Waikato v Counties Manukau | Friday 25 August | FMG Stadium | 09:45

To Win (80 Mins)
Waikato 11/10 | Draw 20/1 | Counties 15/20

Waikato and Counties will bring the curtain down on Friday’s proceedings with the two sides squaring off at the FMG Stadium. Waikato went down 34-29 to Taranaki last week in a game that really could have gone either way. Counties, on the other hand, managed to get their Mitre Cup season underway with a 16-14 point win over Auckland in a game that was drastically affected by poor weather.

Verdict: Counties 15/20
Counties look solid at the set piece last week and I’m backing their tight-five to guide them to back-to-back wins here.   

Wellington v Taranaki | Saturday 26 August | Westpac Stadium | 

To Win (80 Mins)
Wellington 21/20 | Draw 21/1 | Taranaki 8/10

Wellington take on Taranaki in Saturday’s opener, and this promises to be a cracker f a game with both sides possessing some slick backs.
Wellington come into this one off the back of an impressive 12-point victory over Manawatu, while Taranaki make the trip having beaten Waikato 34-29.

Verdict: Wellington  21/20
I said last week that this Wellington side looked the business and while there were some soft moments from them against Manawatu, all in all, they looked a top-notch unit. As such, I’m on Wellington to win.

Auckland v Northland | Saturday 26 August | Eden Park |

To Win (80 Mins)
Auckland 1/10 | Draw 33/1 | Northland 11/2

A smarting Auckland side will be looking for justice when they welcome Northland to Eden Park. The hosts will feel rightly done over after last weekend’s dismal officiating which saw them robbed of two minutes of playing time as well as a possible penalty. Northland, who had a far less controversial opener, managed to claim a victory over Bay of Plenty as they ran out 28-23 winners in a topsy-turvy match.

Verdict: Auckland 1/10
Auckland should have way too much firepower for Championship outfit, Northland, to cope with. Get on the hosts to win outright.  

Manawatu v Tasman | Sunday 27 August | Central Energy Trust Arena

To Win (80 Mins)
Manawatu 39/20 | Draw 22/1 | Tasman 4/10

Manawatu and Tasman get Sunday’s double-bill underway at the Central Energy Stadium. Manawatu come into this one off the back of a 12 point loss to Wellington while Tasman make the journey after being absolutely smashed by Canterbury.

Verdict: Manawatu 17/10
Manawatu looked decent last week and while Tasman will be nowhere near as poor as they were against Canterbury, I still think the hosts will make it a tight game. As such, I’m on the outright win here.

Canterbury v Otago | Sunday 27 August | AMI Stadium |

To Win (80 Mins)
Canterbury 9/10 | Draw 22/1 | Otago 9/10
Canterbury (-17.5) 9/10 | Otago (+17.5) 9/10 *Please note – expected odds

I’m not going to go too in-depth here as Canterbury proved they were the team to beat in the tournament with a very dominant display in their opener. Otago didn’t fare near as well during the first week of the season as they went down by two points to North Harbour.

Verdict: Canterbury 9/10 (-17.5) *Please note – expected odds
You could add 15 more points to this handicap and I’d still be keen to have a strike. Get on this one with confidence!

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Written by Darry Worthington for

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