Southland v Auckland Live

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Southland                          Auckland
Friday 2nd September 07:35 GMT


The Southland Stags entertain the Auckland Gulls in a crossover fixture in the 2016 ITM Cup Round 3 on Friday, the fixture taking place at the Invercargill Stadium. After a disappointing 2015, which saw them finish in sixth position in the Championship Division, with just Northland below them, the Stags have fared no better in the early rounds of the 2016 campaign. Two games played, with both lost, and once again just Northland beneath them in the table. Beaten quite heavily by Otago in Invercargill in Round 1, the Stags gave a much better performance last weekend against Manawatu.

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Trailing 0-0-24 at the interval, they levelled the game at 31-31, when with the final hooter having sounded, the Stags were penalised, and Manawatu first five-eighths Otere Black nailed the winning kick. Auckland having suffered an humiliating record loss against Canterbury in Christchurch in Round 1, got back to winning ways in Round 2. Back in the familiar surroundings of Eden Park, Auckland had to battle hard in atrocious weather conditions to overcome Northland. Having faced a howling wind in the first period, and turned around 15-8 ahead, the Gulls eased away in the second half to win by 37-15, and claim a maximum five points.

Posted: 13th August 2015


The 2015 ITM Cup gets under way at Rugby Park Stadium in Invercargill on Thursday Evening, with Championship side Southland, playing host to Premiership outfit Auckland. Auckland have had an excellent pre-season, with three wins from their three fixtures, the last of which was a 48-17 thumping of their neighbours, North Harbour, who were despatched 48-17 at Onewa Domain. The Premiership side, who took the eventual Champions Taranaki to extra time in last season's semi-final play-off, will head south to face the Stags, with plenty of talent in their 23 man squad, but little experience. Auckland will be led by prop a Ofa Tu'ungafasi, who will come up against Southland's own skipper, Jamie Mackintosh, who has played over 100 games for the Stags.  

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The Blues will have 23 players making their first appearance for the side, one of whom, Michael Fatialofa, will be facing a side for whom he previously made 36 appearances. The Stags in contrast will be fielding a battle hardened forward pack, with Elliot Dixon, Josh Bekhuis and Tim Boys ready to take on their inexperienced opponents in a physical contest, as they try to negate the advantage the visitors will hold in the backs. They Stags will be steered from No.10 by ex-Auckland player, Ash Moeke.

Tags: Southland, ITM Cup, Invercargill Stadium, Auckland, Rugby Park Stadium
Posted: 2nd September 2016

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