ITM Cup Semi-Finals Review

ITM Cup Semi-Finals Review
 
ITM Cup Semi-Finals
 

The ITM Cup semi-finals produced two one-sided matches as Canterbury and Wellington set up a mouth-watering final by beating Auckland and Counties.

Canterbury beat Auckland by 30 points and Wellington beat Counties by 31 points.

The closest finish of the weekend was in the Championship semi-final where Hawke's Bay beat Otago by five points while in the other Championship knockout game, Tasman beat Southland by 21 points.

So why weren't the semi-finals closer?

Talking Rugby Union's Southern Hemisphere rugby correspondent Scott Donaldson gives us his take.

"Dry conditions and liberal refereeing of the rugby laws are helping plenty of tries to be scored. The problem with a seven team competition means that there can often be a substantial difference in class between first and fourth place teams," he began.

"Almost everyone picked Wellington, Canterbury and Tasman to win at home while only about one third of SuperBru tipsters picked Hawke's Bay to beat Otago.

"There was so much exciting young talent on display across the semi-finals with Marty Banks and Ihaia West impressing me. Some of the Canterbury players on display have since been named in the All Blacks squad to tour Japan and Europe, including Joe Moody, Luke Whitelock and Dominic Bird.

"The final will see Tasman host Hawke's Bay in the ITM Championship final, while Wellington hosts Canterbury in the ITM Cup Premiership final. Given that heaps of people leave Wellington on a holiday weekend and how people in the provinces get behind their ITM Cup team (since that is the only rugby they get to watch), then I wouldn't be surprised if there is a bigger crowd to see The Tasman Makos play Hawke's Bay, than is in the capital to watch Wellington against Canterbury."

ITM Cup Semi-Finals results

Wellington 41 - 10 Counties
Canterbury 56 - 26 Auckland
Tasman 49 - 28 Southland
Otago 24 - Hawke's Bay 29

 

2018 Mitre 10 Cup Points Table