Bay of Plenty v Northland Live

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Bay of Plenty                          Northland
Friday 9th September 05:45 GMT


Two sides seeking a first win of the season in the National Provincial ITM Cup will go head to head on Friday, when the Bay of Plenty Steamers host the Northland Taniwhas at the Rotorua Stadium in Rotorua. Although the Steamers have played and lost three games this season, their record could easily have been so much better. They have faced the sides occupying second and third position in the Premiership Division, Counties Manukau and Taranaki respectively, and also the unbeaten leaders of the Championship Division, Otago. Having lost 22-30 in Round 1 to Taranaki, the Steamers have since lost just 34-39 at Counties and 32-33 at home to Otago. In both the Counties and Otago fixtures, they had the consolation of picking up two bonus points.

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Northland have played and lost one game more than their hosts on Friday. Although they too have had a rough ride of fixtures in the early rounds of this season's tournament. The Taniwhas have suffered defeats to both of the top two in the Championship Division. Losing 27-34 to Manawatu, and 28-33 at Otago. They have also had to play the teams that contested last season's Premiership Grand Final, Canterbury and Auckland. They lost 15-37 in appalling weather condition at Eden Park to Auckland, before shipping 52 points against Canterbury, although they did manage four tries of their own, to salvage a bonus point from the carnage.

Posted: 25th September 2014


For Bay of Plenty to have a realistic chance of making the end of season ITM Cup championship play-offs, they will need to win all three of their remaining fixtures, and pick up at least two bonus points along the way. For a side that has managed to win just one of their seven matches in this season's tournament, picking up three bonus points along the way, that sort of form is highly unlikely to be seen. On Thursday, Bay host Northland at the Baypark Stadium, Mount Maunganui. While there is a certain amount of significance and importance in the game for the home side, the match is of vital importance to the visitors.

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Northland are currently in third place in the table, but appear to be embroiled in what is rapidly becoming a three way battle for two semi-final positions. While Manawatu and Hawke's Bay have opened a little day light at the top of the table, Northland hold just a one point advantage over Otago, with Southland a mere two points further back. Bay were further struck by disappointment last week, when they failed in their Ranfurly Shield challenge to Hawkes Bay, whether they can raise themselves in the light of that result, might be one ask too many.

Tags: ITM Cup, Bay of Plenty, Northland, Rotorua Stadium, Baypark Stadium
Posted: 9th September 2016

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