Waikato v Manawatu Live

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Waikato                          Manawatu
Sunday 4th September 04:35 GMT

 

Sunday's cross over match in the 2016 ITM Cup at the FMG Stadium in Hamilton, between the Waikato Mooloos and the Manawatu Turbos, also doubles as a Ranfurly Shield challenge. The Turbos have won two from two this season in the Championship Division, following last season's relegation from the top tier, and will look to take the Shield for the first time since they held it between 1976-78, as well as maintain the pressure on table topping Otago. The two sides have met on 27 previous occasions, with Waikato having had much the better of those clashes, with 19 wins to their credit, and another two games drawn. The last time that they faced each other, Waikato won by 28-21 in 2015 on home soil.

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Manawatu's two bonus point wins, have been against Southland and Northland, who are both in the bottom three of the Championship Division, so Sunday's fixture will be their toughest challenge of the season to date. Waikato meanwhile began the new season with a defeat to Tasman, before getting a first victory over another side from the second tier, North Harbour by 26-15, which also saw them retain the Ranfurly Shield. Apart from home advantage, The Mooloos will also benefit from the return of two All Black squad members, DamianMcKenzie coming in at full-back, while Tawera Kerr Barlow will begin the game on the bench.

Posted: 27th September 2014

 

Victory is more imperative for Waikato, than it is for their visitors from Manawatu, when the two sides clash at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on Saturday, in an ITM Cup cross over match. Waikato are just about clinging on to hopes of being able to make the Premiership play-offs despite last weekend's heavy defeat to Otago, as they currently sit in fifth position, five points behind Auckland, but having played a game more at the start of week seven in this season's tournament.

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With Auckland facing a tricky trip to Taranaki on Friday, and then having to host Waikato at Eden Park in Week 8, then the Mooloos will believe that the door is still ajar for them to force their way into the top four. Manawatu are at the top of the Championship at the beginning of the week's fixtures, their win against Southland last week in Palmerston North, opening an eight point buffer over the fifth place side from the deep South. Their place in the promotion play-off seems assured. However, they are chasing the prize of home advantage through the knockout stages, that comes with finishing at the top of the regular season pile, come the end of week 10.


Tags: ITM Cup, FMG Stadium, Manawatu, Waikato, Waikato Stadium
Posted: 4th September 2016


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