Northland v Hawkes Bay Live

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Northland                          Hawkes Bay
Friday 5th September 08:05 GMT


Northland and Hawkes bay who meet at the Toll Stadium Whangarei on Friday evening will both be looking for the victory that will keep them in the middle of the mix for a Championship top four place.

The top fives sides have similar records after three rounds of this season's tournament, and victory over one of their direct opponents is effectively worth double points.

Hawkes Bay will come into the fixture full of confidence after beating Counties Manukau last weekend; to not only claim a vital ITM Cup victory, but also to win back the coveted Ranfurly Shield in Pukekohe. The final result was 27-21 to the visitors in a high quality encounter.

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Northland on the other hand enters the game on the back of becoming the latest lambs to the Canterbury slaughter.

The perennial Premiership champions, who have won six successive titles pummeled Northland 48-3, which was no disgrace, as Auckland have been beaten 48-9 and Waikato 58-27 already this season by the Red and Blacks. The loss to Canterbury was in fact the first game in 2014 in which Northland have failed to secure a bonus point.

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The home side might be hoping that they will catch Hawkes Bay with one eye on next week's home match with Otago, which will double as a Shield defense, and post a victory which would leapfrog them over Bay and into the top four.

Tags: Toll Stadium, Hawkes Bay, ITM Cup, Northland
Posted: 5th September 2014

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