Waikato and Wellington will get Round 4 of the 2018 Mitre 10 Cup underway when they square off on Wednesday the 5th of September.
Win-less Waikato face the unenviable task of taking on an in-form Wellington side in the first of the Round 4 Mitre 10 Cup games. The visitors were in sensational form last week as they tore apart Southland in horrid conditions. Waikato will have to up their game tenfold if they are to avoid a similar fate to the one that befell Southland.
Waikato v Wellington
Wednesday 5 September
FMG Stadium Waikato
To Win (80 Mins)
Waikato (+11.5) 17/20
Wellington (-11.5) 17/20
Waikato’s dreadful start to the season continued last week as they went down 35-17 to Auckland. The loss ensured that Waikato remains win-less heading into the fourth round. It saw them slip down to second to last on the Championship standings – only two points off cellar-dwellers, Southland.
The men from Otago have been struggling to put in a full 80-minutes shift playing some good rugby in patches only to go to sleep during crucial moments of their contests. They will need to focus for the entirety of Wednesday’s fixture if they are to arrest their losing streak.
This weekend’s visitors took another step towards Premiership semi-finals qualification with an impressive 40-point first half haul that saw them ease past whipping boys, Southland. While Wellington could only add 12 points to their haul during the second-stanza, they were still highly impressive with Hurricanes try scoring machine, Ben Lam, continuing where he left off in Super Rugby by grabbing a hat-trick.
Wellington should have a lot of joy on the counter this weekend as Waikato have struggled to structure their kick-chase defence. Their centre pairing of Matt Proctor and Thomas Umaga-Jenson could also be in for a bit of a field day as Waikato’s midfield is not the strongest defensively.
Verdict: Wellington (11.5) 17/20
I can see Wellington racking up another big score here. Their forward pack is starting to click which will give their back-line a great platform to work off. My money is on the visitors taking this one by 15 points or more.