Championship cellar-dwellers Southland will take on Premiership high-flyers Auckland on Wednesday the 10th of October.
Auckland will face the first challenge of their double-header week this Wednesday when they take on tournament whipping boys Southland. The visitors know that a win would see them head into Thursday at the summit of the Premiership standings.
Southland v Auckland
Wednesday 10 October
To Win (80 Mins)
It has been a year to forget for all those associated with Southland rugby as they head into their final two Mitre 10 Cup games without and win to their names. They’re unlikely to improve upon that record either as they face Auckland on Wednesday and then they have an away date with Manawatu.
Southland head into this clash off the back of their eighth defeat of the season which saw them go down 22-26 to Bay of Plenty. They were desperately unlucky to lose the game as they were in control of it for long periods.
Auckland bounced back from their defeat to Tasman with a narrow 24-29 away win over a dangerous Wellington side. The result has seen them move into the drivers’ seat when it comes to the battle for top spot on the Premiership standings. They currently sit two points off leaders Tasman and know that eight points from their final two games would be enough to see them secure top spot.
The visitors are likely to rest a few players this Wednesday as they have a fixture against North Harbour on Sunday. While they will be slightly weaker without a couple of their first-stringers, they will still pose a massive threat with ball-in-hand as they have some high-quality young backs in reserve.
Verdict: Auckland 1/33
Southland have been haemorrhaging points this season and I think they will struggle to contain a very potent Auckland attack. My money is on the visitors taking this one by 18 points or more.