Southland v Bay of Plenty Live

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Southland                          Bay of Plenty
Wednesday 21st September 07:35 GMT

 

Round 6 of the 2016 ITM Cup begins on Wednesday at the Invercargill Stadium, when the Southland Stags take on the Bay of Plenty Steamers. The Stags are still searching for their first win of the season, and are propping up the tournament's Championship Division. Three previous home games in 2016 have seen the Stags concede at least 40 points, and they have yet to secure so much as a solitary point on home soil. The only points that they have managed to secure, came in their second fixture when they lost at Manawatu 31-34 and picked up two points.

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The Steamers have only managed to win one match themselves, but with the five bonus points that they have picked up in their five games, they occupy fourth position. The only taste of victory for the Bay of Plenty Steamers came two weeks ago, when they defeated the winless Northland 52-25. Level on points with North Harbour, but ahead of their rivals on points difference, the Steamers know how vital a win is on Wednesday if they want to cling onto a play-off position, as Harbour take on Southland in Albany on Sunday. While Bay face Auckland on the same day in Rotorua.

Posted: 15th August 2014

 

After making it through to the knockout stages of last seasons championship Southland have high hopes for this seasons ITM Cup campaign in Rugby Park Invercargill. However, pre-season hasn't brought too much confidence to the camp. Defeats having been suffered to Otago and Mid-Canterbury. Bay of Plenty suffered relegation from the Premiership in 2013 after managing just one win from their 10 fixtures. Their own pre-season has given them cause to hope that this season will be a mighty contrast to the last one, with a win against Hawke's Bay and a narrow loss to Counties Manukau. However, Southland pulled off a major coup in the off-season, by securing the services of the Highlanders first five-eighth Lima Sopoaga. They will also look to use the strength of their experienced loose forward trio; Elliot Dixon, Cardiff Vaega, and Tim Boys, while the signing of prop Jamie Mackintosh will bolster the front row.

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Pre-season has gone surprisingly well for the relegated and largely inexperienced Bay of Plenty squad, having lost key players from last season's line up; Tanerau Latimer who has moved to Japan, and Beau Robinson to Australia. They will also be without prop Kane Hames and hooker Nathan Harris in Invercargill for the opening game, as both will be in Sydney as injury cover for the All Blacks.


Tags: ITM Cup, Southland, Bay of Plenty, Rugby Park, Lima Sopoaga, Elliot Dixon, Jamie Mackintosh, Tanerau Latimer, Kane Hames
Posted: 21st September 2016


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