With the All Blacks named and not involved this weekend the leading sides will have to rely on their squad depth at the business end of the season. Seven teams will fight it out for the semi final spots on offer. Thursday evenings match sees BOP well motivated for a tilt at the finals with their visit to Northland, as will Taranaki be when they visit North Harbour. Both teams will be poised to strike if the more fancied Wellington, Waikato and Auckland slip up and fail to nail down a top four slice of the action.
Round 12 Analysis
Game 78 Manawatu (25) v Waikato (27) Prediction: Waikato by 10-15 pts
Game 79 Tasman (34) v Northland (29) Prediction: Tasman by 0-5 pts
Game 80 Bay of Plenty (33) v Southland (22) Prediction: Southland by 0-5 pts
Game 81 Canterbury (39) v Counties-Manukau (21) Prediction: Canterbury by 15-20 pts
Game 82 Wellington (49) v Taranaki (15) Prediction: Wellington 10-15 pts
Game 83 Auckland (39) v Otago(11) Prediction: Auckland by 20-25 pts
Game 84 Hawke’s Bay (36) v North Harbour (21) Prediction: Hawke’s Bay by 5-10 pts
Round 11 Win Percentage 6/7 86% Season Win Percentage 59/84 70%
Leading Point Scorer(s) after Round 12
161 – Lachie Munro (Northland)
109 – Matt Berquist (Auckland)
105 – Mike Harris (North Harbour)
104 – Colin Slade (Canterbury)
102 – Willie Ripia (Taranaki)
98 – Robbie Robinson (Southland)
94 – Glen Dickson (Otago)
91 – Stephen Donald (Waikato)
84 – Trent Renata (Waikato)
81 – Mike Delany (Bay of Plenty)
Leading Try Scorer(s) after Round 12
10 – Leila Masaga (Waikato)
9 – Robbie Fruean (Canterbury)
8 – Julian Savea (Wellington)
8 – Ashlee Tuala (Counties)
7 – Jared Payne (Northland)
7 – Telusa Veainu (Canterbury)
6 – Dean Budd (Northland)
6 – Sean Maitland (Canterbury)
6 – Matt Luamanu (North Harbour)
6 – Lachie Munroe (Northland)
Seven does not go into four Semi Final places.
Top 4 Next Weeks Potential Semi Finalist’s
1. Canterbury (45)
2. Waikato (40)
3. Auckland (40)
4. Wellington (38)
Destined for First Division Status – Playing with the ‘Big Boys’ in 2011
5. Taranaki (37)
6. Bay of Plenty (37)
7. Southland (34)
Second Division Bound in 2011
8. Counties-Manukau (29)
9. Hawke’s Bay (28)
10. Northland (24)
11. Tasman (20)
12. North Harbour (19)
13. Manawatu (13)
14. Otago (10)
Round 13 Match Previews
Game 85 Northland v Bay of Plenty Prediction: Bay of Plenty by 1-5 points
Bay of Plenty will be well motivated for their visit to Northland and will be hoping the more fancied, Auckland, Waikato, and Wellington. They just may be motivated enough to edge it in a close one.
Game 86 Waikato v Canterbury Prediction: Waikato by 1-5 points
Canterbury looks likely to be still able to secure top spot on the log even if they lose. Waikato have lost a few key All Blacks but with the services of Sitiveni Sivavatu allowed by the All Black selectors, they may have enough petrol in the tank left to just knock off the defending champions.
Game 87 North Harbour v Taranaki Prediction: Taranaki by 1-5 points
Taranaki are another side that is well in the mix this weekend and again will be looking for an away win. Again the visitors for me to get up in a close one.
Game 88 Otago v Manawatu Prediction: Otago by 5-10 points
Otago have been on the end of one of their worst ever seasons in the history of the province this year, and will have to be well motivated to not finish bottom. I’ll be there for the first time in years, so I’ll get behind the boys in Blue n’ Gold.
Game 89 Southland v Wellington Prediction: Southland 5-10 points
Southland has had a memorable season with many highs and lows to date. They will have the services of several disappointed players who missed All Black selection and may take their frustration out on the visiting lads from the capital. They just may shatter the dream of the title for their visitors.
Game 90 Auckland v Tasman Prediction: Auckland by 20-25 points
Auckland by a cricket score.
Game 91 Counties-Manukau v Hawke’s Bay Prediction: Counties-Manukau by 1-5 points
Another close contest with Hawke’s Bay riding the crest of a wave, this however just may be one set too many.Tweet