Round seven was again characterised by some big scorelines and was punctuated by spectacular individual performances, along with a big upset or two. One of which I do not want to talk about. But for the sake of keeping things fair, I will.
So what went down?
Round seven review
Canterbury 72 v Manawatu 7
Tries Canterbury 10 – Manawatu 1
Even the rain and wind couldn’t hold back a pumped up Canterbury team who eventually ran in a total of ten tries in their romp of the mighty(?) Manawatu.
Player that impressed: Milford Keresoma. The Canterbury winger scored four tries… Enough said.
Surprise win? No.
My prediction? Correct (Canterbury 13+).
Northland 13 v Tasman 28
Tries Northland 1 – Tasman 1
This game should have more aptly been recorded as Northland v Marty Banks.
Player that impressed: Marty Banks. The Screech-lookalike scored all of Tasman’s 28 points including a long range (my guess is approx 80 metres) try in the final few minutes. The poor man looked to be dying of exertion after his try and asked a teammate to kick the conversion… but his teammates ribbed him on and he ended up doing it himself. And slotting it. Perfectly. This man deserves a Super XV contract and if he misses out something is severely wrong.
Surprise win? No.
My prediction? Wrong (Northland 1-12).
Waikato 14 v Wellington 19
Tries Waikato 1 – Wellington 3
For the second week in a row Wellington had to fight hard to secure a win… but for the 8th game in a row they DID secure the win. Waikato had every chance to win in the final five minutes but failed to take advantage of their four penalties in a row. A pity really.
Player that impressed: Ardie Savea. The Wellington flanker was strong on defense. And this week he wore his mouthguard. Well done Ardie, well done.
Surprise win? No.
My prediction? Right team, wrong margin (Wellington 13+).
Otago 32 v Southland 38
Tries Otago 4 – Southland 4
Possibly THE big local derby of the entire ITM Cup. Traditional foes Otago and Southland played some good rugby which saw the teams essentially trading tries. In the end it was the boot of Scott Eade who got Southland over the mark.
Player that impressed: Scott Eade. Won the game for Southland and in the process scored a brilliant individual try.
Surprise win? Yes / no depending on whether you ask an Otago supporter or a Southland supporter.
My prediction? Wrong (Otago 1-12).
Manawatu 12 v Taranaki 6
Tries Manawatu 0 – Taranaki 0
Another local derby… it had the makings of an exciting try filled game… but in reality it was (bloody) cold, (bloody) wet, (bloody) windy and the game came down to which of the goal kickers was more successful with the boot. Yet another game from the past couple of weeks that would have been brilliant had the weather played along.
Player that impressed: Jade Te Rure. The Manawatu goal kicker won the game for Manawatu.
Surprise win? In any other season, yes, it’d be a surprise, but not so much in 2013.
My prediction? Wrong (Taranaki 1-12).
*I have come to the conclusion: that if I am going to watch Taranaki playing in person it is going to be cold, wet and windy. I should just stop going to watch the Naki play. But I won’t.
Auckland 39 v Canterbury 19
Tries Auckland 5 – Canterbury 3
As a Canterbury supporter all I can say is… as my nine year old step-daughter so nicely put it… DAMMIT. Well played Auckland… well played. (do you know how much it hurts to say that?).
Player that impressed: Simon Hickey. The Aucklander scored a try and put a lot of extra points on the board through his performance with the boot. Damn you Hickey, damn you!
Surprise win? Yes / no depending on whether you ask an Auckland supporter or a supporter of any other team in the country.
My prediction? Alas… wrong… (Canterbury 1-12).
Hawke’s Bay 55 v North Harbour 10
Tries Hawke’s Bay 7 – North Harbour 1
At least one of my teams did super awesome this weekend. North Harbour took the early lead in Napier, but one penalty and one converted try was as good as it got for them. Hawke’s Bay came back onto the field after half time and were like a totally different team than the one that had taken the field in the first half, adding five extra tries and various conversions and penalties to their tally. New Rebels recruit Telusa Veainu scored three of the Magpies seven tries.
Player that impressed: Tony Lamborn. Numerous players were impressive, in fact I would go as far as to say that all of the Hawke’s Bay team impressed, but Tony Lamborn who got his second cap for the province made a huge impact when he came on the field with half an hour to play. He made some big hits, scored a couple of good turnovers and generally caused a headache for the North Harbour pack. It’d be great to see him get some more game time under his belt before the season ends.
Surprise win? No.
My prediction? Correct (Hawke’s Bay 13+).
Bay of Plenty 30 v Counties Manukau 31
Tries Bay of Plenty 3 – Counties Manukau 3
Bay of Plenty were strong at the set piece and really should have won in what was an impressive performance from what has been a very unimpressive BOP team in 2013. A last minute penalty to Baden Kerr swung things in Counties favour, but it wasn’t a performance they will be particularly proud of.
Player that impressed: Beau Robinson. The Bay of Plenty (& Reds) flanker had a strong game and recorded his first ITM Cup try.
Surprise win? No, but the fact it was so close was a surprise.
My prediction? Right team, wrong margin (Counties Manukau 13+).
Week eight predictions
Tasman v Waikato
If both teams are on form it will be a close game but I am predicting a Tasman win by 1-12.
Southland v Hawke’s Bay
Could be close but I don’t think it will be… I’m picking Hawke’s Bay 13+.
Manawatu v Northland
This will be a goody! Because of home advantage I’m going with Manawatu 1-12.
Bay of Plenty v Waikato
I’d like to see an upset… Bay of Plenty 1-12.
North Harbour v Otago
Should be a big win to the southern men, Otago 13+.
Wellington v Auckland
I would love to see Wellington lose but I don’t think Auckland can do it… Wellington 13+.
Canterbury v Counties Manukau
If they were playing at home I would predict a big upset, but Canterbury are VERY hard to beat at home and I think Counties are going to be put in their place. Canterbury 13+.
Taranaki v Tasman
This. Will. Be. Close. Taranaki 1-12…. or maybe Tasman 13+. Or maybe Taranaki 13+… I JUST DON’T KNOW.
Fine. Taranaki 1-12. Maybe.
There have been some huge scorelines in this years ITM Cup and it got me wondering about averages and all that statistic-y goodness, so as I am prone to do, I went on a statsearch…
Average points per round in the 2013 ITM Cup
Round 1: 53
Round 2: 41.1
Round 3: 52.3
Round 4: 49.1
Round 5: 48.6
Round 6: 52.6
Round 7: 53.1
Total average: 49.9
… and what are stats without a group of data for comparison?
Average points per round in the 2012 ITM Cup (up to round 7)
Round 1: 56.4
Round 2: 57
Round 3: 39.8
Round 4: 38.1
Round 5: 67.4
Round 6: 53.1
Round 7: 56
Total average: 52.5
Of course with the two ITM Cup seasons compared I wondered how the ITM Cup compares with the Super XV…
Average points per round in the 2013 Super XV (round 2-round 8)
Round 2: 47.4
Round 3: 44
Round 4: 48
Round 5: 47.3
Round 6: 52.2
Round 7: 50
Round 8: 52.3
Total average: 48.7
Now with all that statisgasming out of the way, it’s time for the ITM Cup Hotty of the Match…
Team: Hawke’s Bay