Hawkes Bay v Northland Live

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Hawkes Bay                          Northland
Friday 17th October 06:35 GMT


The first promotion semi-final of the 2014 ITM Cup Championship takes place at Mclean Park in Napier on Friday, when Ranfurly Shield holders Hawkes Bay host Northland.Since winning the Shield in Pukekohe against Counties Manukau at the end of August, Hawkes Bay have seemingly had two performances to give. Outstanding when in defence of the shield, and disinterested when playing a "normal" ITM Cup match.

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Having held on to the Shield until next season, with a last week 20-20 draw with Southland, the Magpies might now be able to settle down and concentrate on their promotion challenge.Despite their inconsistent form, five wins and a draw still placed them second in the regular season table, which gave them Friday's home semi-final.When the two sides met in early August in Whangarei, Northland managed to sneak a narrow victory in front of their own supporters, by just 23-21.

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Northland finished their own regular season, with a thumping loss at Eden Park to Auckland, who were chasing victory to secure their own play-off place in the Premiership semi-final. Despite that defeat, Northland finished comfortably in third position in the Championship.The winners on Thursday, will play Manawatu or Southland in the Championship final for a place in next season's Premiership.

Tags: ITM Cup, Mclean Park, Hawkes Bay, Northland, Eden Park
Posted: 17th October 2014

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