Round 2 of the Mitre 10 Cup kicks off with what looks to be a cracker when Northland travel to Lansdowne Park to face defending champions, Tasman.
Both Tasman and Northland commenced their campaigns in style, posting big scores against Counties Manukau and Manawatu respectively.
Tasman’s forwards, beautifully marshalled by live-wire scrumhalf Finlay Christie, were too much for Counties Manukau to handle upfront while out wide, the likes of Mark Telea and Will Jordan punched holes in the defence all night.
Northland were anonymous in the first quarter of their last match – Manawatu streaking to a 20-3 lead. However, a try in the 27th minute suddenly spurred Northland into flight and they proceeded to take Manawatu by the scruff of the neck and shake them into submission. The second half belonged to the men in blue as they ran up a final score of 43-26.
The last time these teams faced each other, in Round 9 of last year’s competition, Tasman thumped their opponents 52-6 in a woefully one-sided encounter. Rest assured that Northland will have other ideas this time around, but will need to bring their ‘A’ games if they hope to halt the Tasman machine.
Keep an eye out for the half-backs, with Finlay Christie and Sam Nock (both Blues representatives) battling it out.