Hawkes Bay v Bay of Plenty Live

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Hawkes Bay                          Bay of Plenty
Saturday 15th October 04:35 GMT


After the joy of 2015 when they enjoyed promotion from the Championship Division, the Hawkes Bay Magpies have had a difficult time in 2016. Just two wins in nine fixtures has seen them condemned to a quick return to the second tier of the ITM Cup, as they trail a massive 11 points behind Waikato going into the final match of the regular season. That final fixture of the season sees the Magpies welcome the Bay of Plenty Steamers to McLean Park in Napier. While the Magpies immediate future is already assured, the Steamers are embroiled in a frantic battle for play-off positions with North Harbour and Manawatu.

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The Steamers have 18 points and are currently in fifth place, just outside the play-off spots. They trail Manawatu and North Harbour by four and three points respectively. Manawatu finish their season against the Otago Razorbacks on Friday, but having lost the head to head fixture against the Bay of Plenty Steamers, they know that if they fail to beat Otago, they will be vulnerable to the Steamers. North Harbour travel to Northland on Sunday in the final fixture of the regular season, and will expect to beat the side that props up the Championship Division.

Posted: 17th October 2015


Hawkes Bay have two matches left in 2015 to ensure that what had looked to be potentially one of the finest seasons in their history, does not finish up as a campaign that no one will ever want to remember. Going into the last game of the regular season, the Magpies were top of the Championship table and had held onto the Ranfurly Shield throughout the year. However, the Log o' Wood was stripped from their grasp in Napier by Waikato, with only a dozen late points reducing the margin to 30-36. Fortunately for the Magpies, Wellington were beaten at home by Manawatu the following day, which did at least leave the Hawkes Bay at the top of the table. As a result they face Bay of Plenty Steamers in the semi-final play-off in Napier. A team that finished 18 points behind them in the regular season table.

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The teams met in Week 6 of the 2015 tournament, and in a game that doubled as a Shield Challenge, the Magpies sneaked home by 23-17. Just one of six defeats suffered in their 10 games by the Steamers. They did manage to win twice on the road, against lowly Premiership side Counties, and rock bottom Championship team, Northland.

Posted: 19th September 2015


Saturday could be a day of great celebration at McLean Park in Napier, when the venue plays host to the Battle of the Bays, Hawkes Bay Magpies taking on their visitors the Bay of Plenty Steamers. If the Magpies record a fifth Championship win in six games this season, they will climb to the top of the table, following Wellington’s shock home defeat by Otago on Wednesday. Should that be the outcome, it will also be a tenth successful defence of the Ranfurly Shield by the Magpies. One of the previous defences in 2014, saw the Magpies defeat the Steamers by 36-17. For the Steamers, it will be another attempt to win the Log ‘f Wood for just the second time in their history, having previously held the trophy in 2004, when their team featured the likes of All Blacks Glen Jackson and Adrian Cashmore.

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The match is of great importance with respect to the ITM Cup as well. While the Magpies are almost assured of a place in the Semi-finals, they are chasing top spot, and home advantage through the play-off system. The Steamers on the other hand are right in the middle of the battle for third and fourth positions in the table. Just five points cover third place Bay of Plenty down to sixth placed Southland.

Posted: 20th September 2014


Hawkes Bay put the Ranfurly Shield up for grabs on Friday when they host the Bay of Plenty at McLean Park in Napier in an ITM Cup Championship match that doubles as a Shield defense. No Doubt the Hawkes Bay will be riding high on confidence after successfully defending the Shield last week in a 41-0 demolition of Otago, and it will no surprise if Shannon Chase gets another start after an impressive debut in that victory.

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However, the Magpies skipper Brendon O Connor will have to pass the graduated return to play protocols to be considered for selection this week after he was knocked out in the Otago win. But Andrew Horrell is definitely out for the rest of the season and is to undergo hip surgery. The Steamers may be having a difficult season, having one just game in the ITM Cup, and struggling near to the foot of the table, but this will be their first challenge for the coveted Log o' Wood since 2005, and they will be desperate to take possession of the Shield for the first time since they took it off Auckland a decade ago. They will have to make the latest defense of the Shield without hooker Nathan Harris who has received a call up by the All Blacks for their Rugby Championship tour to Argentina and South Africa.

Tags: Hawkes Bay, ITM Cup, McLean Park, Bay of Plenty, Andrew Horrell, Nathan Harris
Posted: 15th October 2016

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