Canterbury will be looking to make it four wins on the trot when they take on North Harbour on Wednesday the 12th of September.
Premiership relegation candidates North Harbour take on reigning champions Canterbury in the Round 5 Mitre 10 Cup opener. The hosts are currently sitting at the foot of the Premiership table and have lost their last two games, while Canterbury come to town off the three successive wins.
North Harbour v Canterbury
Wednesday 12 November
To Win (80 Mins)
North Harbour 26/10
North Harbour (+8.5) 17/20
Canterbury (-8.5) 17/20
North Harbour really need to start picking up points if they are to avoid dropping down to the Championship. This weekend’s hosts are languishing at the foot of the table with nine points to their names. They do have a chance of moving out of the last position this week, but they would need to take at last two points from their clash with the champions and hope those around them slip up.
While North Harbour failed to win their last two games, they were competitive as they went down by only 12 points to a red-hot Tasman side and managed to lose by the same margin to a mightily impressive Wellington outfit this past weekend.
The most successful side in the tournament have been on a really solid run of form since losing their opener to Tasman as they have won their last three games by seven points or more, with their last victory seeing them down Manawatu 34-23.
While Canterbury have racked up three wins in succession they still need to work on some areas of their game if they are to retain their title. Their line-out hasn’t functioned as well as it has in the past and they will need to get it firing against a North Harbour side that is moderately competitive at the set piece.
Verdict: Canterbury (-8.5) 17/20
The Cantabrian’s have really started to hit their straps lately and I can see them beating a struggling North Harbour by a healthy margin. My money is on Canterbury taking this one by 16 points or more.