Waikato v Canterbury Live

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Waikato                          Canterbury
Wednesday 28th September 06:35 GMT


Waikato Mooloos entertain the Canterbury Lambs at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on Wednesday, in the opening fixture of Round 7 of the 2016 ITM Cup. After two matches in the tournaments without a victory, Waikato have found themselves slipping outside of the top four in the Premiership, where they now occupy fifth spot, four points adrift of Auckland, although they do have a game in hand. While Round 7 represents the week in which the Mooloos play two fixtures, on Sunday they face the winless Championship outfit, Northland. They will feel confident enough therefore, to play a full strength side in the vital Canterbury game.

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The reigning Champions, Canterbury, who had looked unstoppable, until their surprise defeat in Round 5 13-19 against Manawatu, got back to winning ways last weekend, when they inflicted a first defeat of 2016 45-34 on the Championship Division leaders Otago. That result lifted the Lambs back to the head of the table, after having temporarily given up the leadership to Counties Manukau, who overcame Waikato on Friday. The Lambs, who have collected a bonus point in all six games they have played in 2016, have a game in hand on the other sides that are currently occupying play-off positions, and have a massive points difference advantage over their rivals.

Posted: 22nd August 2014


After just one round of the ITM Cup Premiership season 2014 only three sides have recorded the maximum five points. Something will have to give on Friday at the Waikato Stadium, as two of those sides meet each other, when Waikato hosts Canterbury. Waikato made a stunning start to the new campaign with a stunning away win against Wellington whom they defeated by 37-25. But Friday's opponents, and current champions Canterbury, looked in ominous form as they thumped their great rivals Auckland in Christchurch by 48-9.

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The youthful and energetic Waikato side certainly looked capable of being in the running for a top four spot come the business end of the season in their opening fixture, especially if first-five Damian McKenzie can solve his place kicking issues. His debut provided a solid and promising start, although he did struggle with his goal-kicking duties. Canterbury will be without their second-five Tom Taylor who suffered a fractured eye socket in the win over Auckland, while Ryan Crotty remains with the All Blacks for the second Bledisloe Cup Test. The Mooloos may just fine that enthusiasm and energy won't be enough against a well-drilled Canterbury side, packed with Super Rugby experience and proven winners, on Friday.

Tags: Waikato Stadium, ITM Cup, Canterbury, Waikato, Damian McKenzie, Ryan Crotty
Posted: 28th September 2016

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