Hawkes Bay v Southland Live

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Hawkes Bay                          Southland
Saturday 11th October 04:35 GMT


Mclean Park will host a huge clash on Saturday, when Hawkes Bay host Southland in a fixture that doubles as an ITM Cup championship game, as well as a Ranfurly Shield challenge. As well as defending the Shield, Hawkes Bay have the added pressure of needing to win te match in order to secure a home semi-final in the ITM Cup.

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The visitors themselves have a great deal riding on the outcome of Saturday's contest. Quite apart from the Shield, they face a four way battle for the final place in the promotion play-off. Although Southland cureently hold that vital spot, they are level on points with 5th place North Harbour and are only four points in front of 7th place Bay of Plenty.

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Last week Hawkes Bay missed the chance to clinch top spot when they lost the top of the table clash against Manawatu by 29-3 in Palmerston North. But since they won the Shield earlier in the campaign, they have shown their best form during their defences. Southland looked as if they would avoid any last week jitters when they led Counties Manukau 7-5 at half time in last week's ITM match, but after the break they were unable to contain a rampant Counties side that ran in three tries.

Tags: Southland, ITM Cup, Hawkes Bay
Posted: 11th October 2014

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