Click here to Watch Tasman v Canterbury Live Saturday 3rd October 01:35 GMT
Trafalgar Park in Nelson hosts probably the game of the 2015 ITM Cup Premiership to date on Saturday, when the Tasman Makos, currently second on the table, entertain top of the pile, Canterbury Lambs. Just a couple of weeks ago, this was being viewed as the game to decide the finishing positions of these two rivals, and effectively which of them would host the play-off final.
However, results over the past fortnight, have seen both sides lose their 100% winning records, and in Tasman’s case, slip to consecutive defeats, against Auckland and Counties-Manukau. Canterbury lost their unbeaten record in front of their own fans in Christchurch, to the reigning Champions Taranaki. While Canterbury continue to lead the table on 33 points, there is only a six point gap to fourth placed Taranaki, who host Tasman in the final week of the season. While the four qualifying positions are now spoken for, what order the sides finish in, is still very much open, with just two weeks of the regular season remaining.
Canterbury certainly feel that they owe the Makos, after the climax to last season, when the Makos defeated the then Champions, Canterbury, in Christchurch by 38-10 in the penultimate round of the regular season. The two sides met in the semi-finals as a result, with the Makos having home advantage, which they made pay by once more defeating the Lambs, this time by 26-6.
Posted: 18th October 2014
Saturday's ITM Cup Premiership semi-final at Trafalgar Park, Nelson between Tasman and Canterbury, promises to be the most intriguing of all the knockout matches that take place over the coming weekend.Tasman looked set to finish as runner-up in the table, when table toppers Taranaki led Canterbury 23-9 midway through their last match of the season last Sunday. However, a stunning second half comeback, saw the defending champions drag the game back, and steal a 26-23 win.
That left Tasman needing a point from their final match against Counties Manukau later the same day. despite taking an early lead and leading 16-7 shortly after halftime, Tasman conceded 14 unanswered points, and were therefore left to rue a missed opportunity.When the two sides met just two weeks ago, Tasman recorded their first ever win in Christchurch, stunning the six times champions by 38-10, running in five tries in the process.
Canterbury were sweeping all before them earlier in the season, but hit a most unexpected slump with consecutive losses to Tasman, Southland and North Harbour. However, with Colin Slade and Tom Taylor back after All Blacks duties, and wingers Patrick Osborne and Johnny McNicholl returning from injury, the champions were back to near their best form.
Posted: 24th August 2012
The ITM Cup continues when Tasman and Canterbury play in Nelson, on Friday, August 24th at 20:05 local time and 08:05 GMT. Right now, Hawke's Bay is the number one team on the table, but this is simply a temporary spot as none of the teams have yet earned any points, and so the table will change drastically after someone is on the board. Auckland comes in second and then Wellington is third. Wellington has a game this week as well, on the same day in fact, happening with Manawatu at 18:05 local time.
The fourth team on the table right now is one of our competitors, Canterbury. The fifth team that comes in on the ITM Cup standings is Bay of Plenty.
Tags: ITM Cup
, Trafalgar Park
, Johnny McNicholl