Mitre 10 Cup Tips and Predictions - Best bets and previews for the Semi-Finals

James Wells 17 Oct 2018
  • Preview of this week's Mitre 10 Cup action
Mitre 10 Cup

The Mitre 10 Cup has reached the semi-final stage and we preview the action and pick out the best bets to be backing.

In our in-depth preview of this week's rugby, we take a look at the four games and make our predictions for what we think will unfold in the latest Mitre 10 Cup games.

Read our previews for the semi-finals games:

Tasman vs Canterbury

The Mitre 10 Cup playoffs kickoff Friday with an all Crusaders clash as Tasman hosts Canterbury. Since being elevated to the Premiership in 2013, these two sides have met in the playoffs every year barring 2015, including playing the last two finals, forging one of the toughest rivalries in New Zealand domestic Rugby. In the current domestic format, established in 2006, Canterbury have dominated the competition winning 9 titles, including going back to back in the last two years. Tasman meanwhile have made it to the big dance three times and failed at each opportunity, twice thanks to Canterbury. Tasman did get the better of Canterbury at the start of the year, winning 25-17 in Blenheim, and will have home town advantage for this battle. With the All Blacks gargantuan 51 man squad named, multiple new faces will have a bigger microscope on them in this game from the public. Tasman were once again emphatic last week dismantling Hawkes Bay 29-0, Canterbury not quite as convincing but still winners 19-14 over Counties. This is very hard to split, Canterbury have the pedigree in the big moments, but Tasman have been the better team this year, have the home advantage, and have the advantage up front. Tasman in a very close one.

Waikato vs Northland

Waikato's blistering attacking form came to an abrupt end as they surrendered the Ranfurly Shield 19-23 to Otago. Falling down early 17-0, Waikato put up a tough, gritty fight to force a contest but failed to capitalise on multiple opportunities in Otago's end, let down by some poor discipline on their part also. Despite this, Waikato finished clear leaders in the Championship five points clear of Otago, guaranteeing them home playoff games as long as they survive. Northland's defensive woes continued, conceding 38 points to Bay of Plenty, ultimately losing 38-35.The scoreboard flattered the Taniwha who scored twice in the dying minutes to claim two bonus points but were not in a position to win. The loss left Northland with a 4-6 record, but their eight bonus points were enough to get them a playoff spot despite the negative record. The way Northland fell off tackles against the BOP was very worrying, and a much more scathing attack in Waikato should punish them even much harder as we already saw when Waikato blistered them for 71 points just two weeks ago.

Auckland vs Wellington

Auckland continued their fantastic 2018 resurgence, claiming their ninth win of the year winning the Battle of the Bridge 45-29 against North Harbour, finishing atop the competition ladder three points clear of Tasman. Wellington, meanwhile, turned out a very strong performance beating rivals Taranaki 34-10, blanking Taranaki in the second half to ensure victory. These two sides clashed just a fortnight ago, Auckland emerging 29-24 winners in Wellington, a game that Wellington will still be kicking themselves for throwing away having controlled much of the contest. Auckland forward Akira Ioane has been a talking point through the week, with many fans perplexed how the dynamic young gun couldn't make the All Blacks 51 man squad, Ioane plays with an edge and if he has taken this to heart he could dominate this contest, and in conjunction with new All Black Dalton Papalii they form a tandem that Wellington will again struggle to deal with. These two sides scored the most points in the Premiership this year making the points total worth a look also.

Otago vs Hawkes Bay

Perhaps no team will enter this weekend on a bigger high than Otago, returning back home with the Ranfurly Shield after claiming the log of wood from Waikato 23-19, securing a home playoff game in the process. Their opponents Hawkes Bay, conversely, failed to get on the board going down 29-0 to Tasman. These teams met in round two, with Hawkes Bay securing the road in 31-25, but there has been few scalps since, with Northland the only playoff team they have beaten, and failing to win against any Premiership opposition while Otago can boast to being the only team that were able to beat Auckland this year. Hawkes Bay won't be a pushover, but Otago have just looked a step above as the season has progressed, and with the home advantage coupled with the huge enthusiasm boost bringing the Shield home will have given them, the edge goes to the men from the south.


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Mitre 10 Cup Tips and Predictions - Best bets and previews for the Semi-Finals

The Mitre 10 Cup has reached the semi-final stage and we preview the action and pick out the best bets to be backing.

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