ITM Cup round up and preview: Wk 6

Round six was dominated by big match ups, injuries, douchebaggery and a few big scorelines.  For the second week in a row Counties Manukau defeated the challengers and held onto the Ranfurly Shield.

I give you week six of the ITM Cup…


Round six review

Bay of Plenty 25 v Southland 33

Tries  Bay of Plenty 1 – Southland 3

Bay of Plenty looked as though they were going to take out the match until a late comeback and some powerful play by their forwards put Southland in the lead.

Player that impressed:  Scott Eade.  Had a successful night with the boot.

Surprise win?  No

My prediction?  Wrong (Bay of Plenty 1-12).

Auckland 41 v Northland 10

Tries  Auckland 6 – Northland 1

Some strong kicking, a powerful scrum and doing the basics right on Aucklands side meant that  Northland were never really in this game.  Again the weather conditions were horrible, but that didn’t seem to phase Auckland one bit. 

Player that impressed:  Simon Hickey.  Some great line breaks and runs, especially considering how wet it was underfoot.

Surprise win?  No.

My prediction?  Right (Auckland 13+).

*injury concerns:  Auckland lost three players – Patrick Tuipulotu, Joe Edwards and Vince Aso –  for the rest of the season.

Otago 52 v Manawatu 41

Tries  Otago 6 – Manawatu 5

A poor defensive effort from both teams meant that this game was a tryfest of epic proportions!  It was an exciting game if you ignored the fact that neither team was strong on defense. 

Player that impressed:  Jayden Spence.  The Otago player scored two tries and made a lot of exciting runs.

Surprise win?  No.

My prediction?  Right (Otago 1-12).

Counties Manukau 37 v Waikato 25 (Ranfurly Shield defense)

Tries  Counties Manukau 4 – Waikato 3

Waikato put in a huge effort in the second half but never looked like beating the seemingly unstoppable Counties Manukau!  Is anyone going to be able to stop their Shield reign this season?

Player that impressed:  Trent Renata.  The Waikato player had a good game with the boot and made some good tackles.

Surprise win?  No.

My prediction?  Right (Counties 1-12).

Wellington 25 v Canterbury 19

Tries  Wellington 3 – Canterbury 1

In what was a very low scoring game for both teams in comparison with the rest of the season, a determined Wellington held out Canterbury to become the only unbeaten team in the competition.  The game was as competitive as had been expected and was an enjoyable game to watch.

Players that DID NOT impress: (aka the inaugural douchbaggery award) Wellington players Ardie Savea & Tomasi Palu were ordered by ref Nick Briant to leave the field and get mouthguards.  Apparently big tough men don’t need mouthguards.  They are invincible!  Savea went as far as to admit to the media he has NEVER worn a mouthguard.  Such a good role-model for all those young rugby players out there!

Surprise win?  No.

My prediction?  Wrong (Canterbury 1-12).

Colin Slade wheeled off the field

Colin Slade wheeled off the field

*injury concerns:  Canterbury lost three of their strongest players in this game.  Tyler Bleyendaal was knocked out and won’t be allowed to play until given the all clear by the team doctor, while Colin Slade’s bad luck continued when he injured his knee.  Steve Hansen’s decision to not take Matt Todd to Argentina with the All Blacks failed in a big way as he is now likely out for the rest of the year with a torn pectoral muscle.

Tasman 18 v Hawke’s Bay 9

Tries  Tasman 2 – Hawke’s Bay 0

The small scoreline gives an indication of how good this game was.  It was very even until midway through the second half when Tasman seemed to have a second wind (ironic considering how windy it was!) and managed the win.  Another exciting game to watch.  Winning this game saw Tasman take the lead in the championship tally.

Player that impressed:  Shane Christie.  The Tasman skipper scored a great try and had a good game in all areas of play.

Surprise win?  No.

My prediction?  Wrong (Hawke’s Bay 1-12).

Southland 34 – North Harbour 31

Tries  Southland 5 – North Harbour 3

A nailbiter of a match!  Exciting game to watch and probably very nervewracking for supporters of either team.  A good contest but Southlands effort on attack gave them the edge. 

Player that impressed:  Marty McKenzie.  A drop goal in the 79th minute won the game for Southland.

Surprise win?  No.

My prediction?  Right (Southland 1-12).


Week seven predictions

Canterbury v Manawatu

Should be a convincing win to Canterbury, but it will be interesting to see how they cope without three of their best players.  Canterbury 13+.

Northland v Tasman

This should be a good game and I’m going to go for a surprise Northland win at home by 1-12.

Waikato v Wellington

Wellington seem impossible to beat… common sense says Wellington 13+.

Otago v Southland

This has the potential to be a nailbiter!  I’m going to go with Otago 1-12.

Manawatu v Taranaki

Since I’m going to be at the game I hope it is a good’un!  I am thinking… Taranaki 1-12.  But it will be close!

Auckland v Canterbury

Canterbury will feel they have a point to prove after losing to top of the table Wellington… I think Canterbury will edge them out.  Canterbury 1-12.

Hawke’s Bay v North Harbour

North Harbour seem to be finding a bit of momentum but the Magpies are hard to beat playing in front of a home crowd!  I’m choosing Hawke’s Bay 13+.  The Magpies backs are going to shine!

Bay of Plenty v Counties Manukau

No brainer.  Counties Manukau 13+.


Current standings


Wellington – 33

Auckland – 29

Canterbury – 25

Counties Manukau – 20

Taranaki – 12

Waikato – 11

Bay of Plenty – 5


Tasman – 18

Hawke’s Bay – 15

Southland – 15

Otago – 14

Manawatu – 10

North Harbour – 10

Northland – 8


Jarrad Hoeata

Jarrad Hoeata

And this weeks ITM Cup Hotty of the Match is…


Age:  29

Position:  lock, flanker, #8

Team:  Taranaki

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