Hawke’s Bay will be looking to push their Championship home semi-final bid when they take on a struggling Manawatu on Friday the 5th of October.
Hawke’s Bay v Manawatu
Friday 5 October
To Win (80 Mins)
Hawke’s Bay 9/20
This weekend’s hosts have an ideal opportunity to cement their semi-final spot and could further advance into a home semi-final – cause when they take on a Manawatu side that has only won two games this term. A bonus point win here would see Hawke’s Bay head into the final set of round-robin fixtures on 28 points, which would put them in a commanding position to attain a home semi.
Last week saw Hawke’s Bay produce a mixed-bag of results as they beat Northland 55-41 in a midweek fixture, and then went down 49-24 to Canterbury on Sunday.
This weekend’s visitors managed to bag their second win of what has been an exceedingly disappointing campaign as they edged Bay of Plenty 15-17 last Thursday. The result has seen them move seven points clear of bottom-placed Southland and has all but assured that they will not pick up the Championship wooden spoon this season.
Manawatu may be heading into this one off the back of a morale-boosting victory but they could well be in for a long night against a Hawke’s Bay side that has been stellar on attack this term.
Verdict: Hawke’s Bay 9/20
I cannot see Manawatu keeping up with this solid ‘Bay side. My money is on the hosts taking it by 17 points or more.