Canterbury v Hawkes Bay Live

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Canterbury                          Hawkes Bay
Sunday 11th September 02:35 GMT


Reigning ITM Cup Champions, Canterbury Lambs, will be confident of making it four wins from four matches on Sunday, when they host Hawkes Bay Magpies in Round 4 of the 2016 tournament at the AMI Stadium in Christchurch. While Canterbury have been in unstoppable form this season, winning all three fixtures by large margins, and claiming a bonus point each time, the Magpies have found the step up from the Championship Division too great a gap to bridge. Ahead of Sunday's game, the Magpies have been beaten by Wellington, Taranaki, Counties Manukau and earlier in the week Auckland.

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Nearly at the half-way stage of the season, and with just three bonus points to their credit, Hawkes Bay are five points adrift of the team above them, Tasman, and have played a game more. The Lambs opened the season with a record victory against Auckland in Christchurch, before scoring 45 points against Tasman and 52 against Northland. When the sides met in 2015 in Christchurch, Canterbury were victorious by 29-15. It is difficult to imagine the result being so close this weekend. Although the home side may be tempted to rest a number of first choice players, given that they should comfortably defeat the Magpies, and they will have stiffer challenges ahead of them.

Posted: 12th September 2015


The ITM Cup clash at the AMI Stadium in Christchurch on Saturday, brings together two sides that in eight matches this season, have dropped just a solitary point between them. The Canterbury Lambs are second in the Premiership, having won four successive matches, and have recorded three try-scoring bonus points. They trail last season's beaten Grand Finalists, the Tasman Makos by a single point. The Makos having a 100% record ahead of their trip to Wellington Lions on Friday.

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The Hawkes Bay Magpies, head the Championship ladder, like Tasman, with a 100% record. They have captured all 20 points that have been on offer so far this season, and by a quirk of fate, it is Wellington who trail behind them in second place, having dropped just the one point. Surprisingly, the teams haven't faced each other since October 2010, when Canterbury romped home by 44-3 in Napier. The match on Saturday is likely to be a lot closer than the final scoreline on that occasion, although with home advantage, it seems likely that it is the Lambs that will return their unbeaten record. Although the Magpies have beaten the Lambs 21 times over the years in the 54 matches they faced each other, they haven't claimed the spoils since 1082, when they recorded a 21-13 win in Hastings.

Tags: ITM Cup, Canterbury, AMI Stadium, Hawkes Bay
Posted: 11th September 2016

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