PREVIEW: Mitre 10 Cup finals
Thursday, October 24, 2019 allblacks.com Getty Images
Bay of Plenty v Hawke’s Bay
Friday 25 October, 7.35pm, Rotorua International Stadium. TICKETS.
Played: 52 (1922-2019)
Bay of Plenty 28, Hawke’s Bay 23, drawn 1.
Last match: Bay of Plenty 51, Hawke’s Bay 24 at Tauranga (28/9/2019)
Watch: Sky Sport 1
Bay of Plenty’s last national title came all the way back in 1976 when they won the inaugural National Provincial Championship. Since then they have won two second division titles (1978 and 2000) but are yet to taste success in either the Championship or Premiership of the Mitre 10 Cup.
Hawke’s Bay’s last Championship title came back in 2015 when they beat Wellington in the final. There’s no doubting the two best teams in the Championship have made their way into the final but the Steamers will go rightfully into this one as favourites. Not only did they qualify top and have home-field advantage for the final, but they are peaking at just the right time with a 51-24 win over Hawke’s Bay just three weeks ago. A key clash will come at halfback where the always steady Richard Judd squares off with the electric Folau Fakatava. Both players will control the tempo in what should be a fast-paced encounter.
Bay of Plenty: 1: Aidan Ross 2: Nathan Vella 3: Ross Geldenhuys 4: Baden Wardlaw 5: Alex Ainley 6: Tom Franklin 7: Mitchell Karpik 8: Hoani Matenga 9: Richard Judd 10: Dan Hollinshead 11: Joseva Ravouvou 12: Chase Tiatia 13: Mathew Skipwith-Garland 14: Fa’asiu Fuatai 15: Emoni Narawa
Reserves: Kurt Eklund, Chris Eves, Jeff Thwaites, Aaron Carroll, Hugh Blake, Leroy Carter, Jason Robertson, Collier Pryor
Hawke’s Bay: 1: Pouri Rakete-Stones 2: Ash Dixon 3: Ben May 4: Isaia Walker-Leaware 5: Tom Parsons 6: Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, 7: Brendon O’Connor 8: Gareth Evans 9: Folau Fakatava 10: Lincoln McClutchie 11: Mason Emerson 12: Stacey Ili 13: Neria Fomai 14: Jonah Lowe 15: Tiaan Falcon
Reserves: Kianu Kereru-Symes, Jason Long, Joel Hintz, Geoff Cridge, Josh Kaifa, Devan Flanders, Danny Toala Ollie Sapsford
?? "We feel like it's our year." Hear what some of the players have to say heading into what will be an epic finals weekend!Premiership
FULL VIDEO ?? https://t.co/CzHDNOV4WI#Ours pic.twitter.com/t0NS1dXPz9— Mitre 10 Cup (@Mitre10Cup) October 24, 2019
Tasman v Wellington at Nelson (Saturday 1805)
Saturday 26 October, 6.05pm, Trafalgar Park, Nelson. TICKETS.
Played: 10 (2006-19)
Won: Tasman 5, Wellington 5
Last match: Tasman 45, Wellington 8 at Blenheim (10/8/2019)
Watch: Sky Sport 1
It will be party time in Nelson on Saturday night if the Mako can get over the line against Wellington. Since their inception in 2006, the Mako are yet to win a national title with their best finish coming in 2014 when they were runners-up to Taranaki. Wellington have won four titles in their history but none since their last title in 2000 when Jonah Lomu, Tana Umaga and Christian Cullen were running capers in their backline. Fans will be hanging from the rafters at Trafalgar Park for what should be a breath-taking encounter. Both teams love to run the ball and have threats all over the park. A key clash will come in the front row where the Lions hard-running trio of Asafo Aumua, Alex Fidow and Xavier Numia clash with the Mako muscle-men Wyatt Crockett, Andrew Makalio, Tim Perry and Tyrel Lomax.
Tasman: 1: Tim Perry 2: Andrew Makalio 3: Tyrel Lomax 4: Quinten Strange 5: Pari Pari Parkinson 6: Liam Squire 7: Sione Havili 8: Jordan Taufua 9: Finlay Christie 10: Mitch Hunt 11: Leicester Faingaanuku 12: Alex Nankivell 13: Levi Aumua 14: Will Jordan 15: David Havili
Wellington: 1: Xavier Numia 2: Asafo Aumua 3: Alex Fidow 4: Vaea Fifita 5: James Blackwell 6: Mateaki Kafatolu 7: Du’Plessis Kirifi 8: Teariki Ben-Nicholas 9: Kemara Hauiti-Parapara 10: Jackson Garden-Bachop 11: Vince Aso 12: Peter Umaga-Jensen 13: Billy Proctor 14: Ben Lam 15: Trent Renata
?? FINALS FLASHBACK! We take you back to when @WgtnRugby last won the Premiership title (then NPC) in 2000.
Can they add another title when they take on @TasmanMako in Nelson on Saturday night? #TASvWEL pic.twitter.com/Q3LeCgJeT3— Mitre 10 Cup (@Mitre10Cup) October 23, 2019
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