Auckland v North Harbour Live

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Auckland                          North Harbour
Saturday 20th September 05:35 GMT


Aucklands season has stuttered along since their thumping defeat in week 1 against their great rivals from the South Island Canterbury.

Even consecutive victories, against bottom of the table Wellington came by the narrowest of margins 31-30, while last week they beat championship side bay of Plenty 27-12, but only after trailing 12-nil at the break.

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Having said all that, they have risen to fourth position on the table, and if they can win the battle of the bridge on Saturday, when they face neighbors North Harbour at Eden Park in Auckland, they will take a giant step towards the post season play-offs.

North Harbour themselves have had a woeful season, and only opened their own account last week after starting the 2014 ITM Cup season with four consecutive losses, causing an upset by defeating top of the championship table Manawatu by 24-13.

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North Harbour have to go back to 2010 to find the last time that they bettered their near neighbors, and their chance of bringing that run to an end may depend on their pack producing another sterling performance, just as they did in the wet against Manawatu, to better an Auckland eight who found themselves unable to get the better of the Bay of Plenty forwards during a first half arm wrestle last week.

Tags: Eden Park, ITM Cup, North Harbour, Auckland
Posted: 20th September 2014

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