The New Zealand rugby season continued unabated this weekend with all the Super players and the odd All Black squad member back in action, with players spread across 14 provincial teams in two separate competitions.

**Week 1 Review**

Week 1 got all 14 teams 2011 ITM campaigns under way. Reigning champions Canterbury again showed that they will be the side to beat in the Premiership, with Rob Penney’s men gaining an excellent win away at Eden Park. In the Championship some of the more fancied sides (North Harbour, Hawke’s Bay and Counties Manukau) lost which has thrown the Championship competition wide open.

This week we welcome the first mid-week encounters on Tuesday and Wednesday before the next round of competition gets under way the following day. The games are going to be coming thick and fast, which is going to be a challenge just to keep up with. This week we also witness our first cross-over matches (when a Premiership side plays a Championship side or vice versa) when Auckland hosts their second match in three days against Otago, as well as Hawke’s Bay playing Southland.

**Week 1 Results & Analysis**

Last year we managed a return of 68% on the tipping front and this year we have got off to the worst possible start by successfully predicting only 2 from 7 matches, a 29% return in a torrid first round.

Game 1 Otago (46) v (29) North Harbour Prediction: Otago by 1-5 points

Game 2 Southland (9) v (19) Waikato Prediction: Southland by 1-5 points

Game 3 Manawatu (32) v (23) Hawke’s Bay Prediction: Hawke’s Bay by 5-10 points

Game 4 Northland (19) v (9) Tasman Prediction: Northland by 1-5 points

Game 5 Taranaki (5) v (23) Wellington Prediction: Taranaki by 10-15 points

Game 6 Auckland (33) v (40) Canterbury Prediction: Auckland by 5-10 points

Game 7 Counties Manukau (13) v (20) Bay of Plenty Prediction: Counties Manukau by 5-10 points

Week 1 Win Percentage 2/7 29% Season Win Percentage 2/7 29%

**Sharksworld Superbru Pool **(Pool Size 43)

Leaderboard

1st prishern 9.75

2nd Sam 9.50

3rd pahlad 9.00

43rd & LAST HH 2.00 *(I haven’t played Superbru for long but I don’t think I have ever been last before)*

**ITM Premiership Points Table **– Week 1 (Games played in brackets)

1. Canterbury (1) – 5

2. Wellington (1) – 4

3. Waikato (1) – 4

4. Auckland (1) – 1

5. Bay of Plenty (1) – 0

6. Southland (1) – 0

7. Taranaki (1) – 0

**ITM Championship Points Table **– Week 1 (Games played in brackets)

1. Otago (1) – 5

2. Manawatu (1) – 5

3. Northland (1) – 4

4. North Harbour (1) – 1

5. Counties Manukau (1) – 0

6. Hawke’s Bay (1) – 0

7. Tasman (1) – 0

**Match Previews – Week 2**

**Game 8 North Harbour v Tasman **Prediction: North Harbour by 10-15 points

North Harbour would have been bitterly disappointed (as well as cold) by their performance at Carisbrook last Friday and should bounce back well here at home against the Mako’s.

TEAMS:

North Harbour: 1. Mike Reid, 2. Mike Mayhew, 3. Ben Afeaki, 4. Chris Smith, 5. James King, 6. Solomon King, 7. Brent Wilson, 8. Matt Luamanu, 9. Chris Smylie (capt), 10. Ben Botica, 11. David Raikuna, 12. Brendon Watt, 13. Rudi Wulf, 14. Ken Pisi, 15. Willie Walker.

Reserves: 16. Manu Leiataua, 17. Taione Vea, 18. Irwin Finau, 19. Sam Hayes-Stevenson, 20. Luke Hamilton, 21. Nafi Tuitavake, 22. Codey Rei, 23. James Afoa.

Tasman: 1. Sam Prattley, 2. Quentin MacDonald, 3. Fai Mika, 4. Pablo Heuete, 5. Joe Wheeler, 6. Jonathon Poff, 7. Shane Christie, 8. Mark Bright, 9. Steve Alfeld, 10. James Marshall, 11. Mitchell Scott, 12. Andrew Goodman (capt), 13. Kieron Fonotia, 14. Lucky Mulipola, 15. Robbie Malneek.

Reserves: 16. Francis Smith, 17. Craig Moore, 18. Riki Hoeata, 19. Liam Squire, 20. Shawn Begg, 21. James Proctor, 22. Willie McGoon, 23. James Hadfield.

REFEREE: Ben Skeen

**Game 9 Hawke’s Bay v Southland **Prediction: Southland by 5-10 points

The Magpies host the first cross-over match of the season and have a real chance of an upset against the visiting Stags. Southland on the other hand will be desperate for the points on the road – expect a close one.

TEAMS:

Hawke’s Bay: 1. Sona Taumalolo, 2. Hikawera Elliot, 3. Jody Allen, 4. Brodie Retallick, 5. Ashton Johnson, 6. Trent Boswell-Wakefield, 7. Karl Lowe, 8. Mike Coman (capt), 9. Chris Eaton, 10. Daniel Kirkpatrick, 11. Tu Umaga-Marshall, 12. Andrew Horrell or Ryan McLeod, 13. Star Timu, 14. Sinoti Sinoti, 15. Richard Buckman.

Reserves: 16. Danny Logan, 17. Hikairo Forbes, 18. Maselino Paulino or Kane Thompson, 19. Adam Bradey, 20. Isaac Paewai or Kahn Fotuali’i, 21. McLeod or Tua Saseve, 22. Gillies Kaka, 23. Ben Tameifuna or Anthony Perenise.

Southland: 1. Michael Peterson, 2. David Hall, 3. Nick Barrett, 4. Ben Nally, 5 Joe Tuineau, 6. John Hardie, 7. Tim Boys, 8. Elliot Dixon, 9. Scott Cowan, 10. James Wilson, 11. Glen Horton, 12. Matt Saunders (capt), 13. James Lew, 14. Tim Cornforth, 15. Robbie Robinson.

Reserves: 16. Jason Rutledge, 17. Jamie Mackintosh, 18. Josh Bekhuis, 19. Kaleni Taituli, 20. Sonny Rangitohereri, 21. Kendrick Lynn, 22. Scott Eade, 23. Chris King.

REFEREE: Vinny Munro

**Game 10 Counties Manukau v Manawatu **Prediction: Counties Manukau by 5-10 points

Counties Manukau will not want to drop their second game at home in 4 days. Once again it could go either way but the home team should just have enough to get over the line against their impressive first round visitors.

TEAMS:

Counties-Manukau: 1. Simon Lemalu, 2. Mark Price, 3. Matt Talaese, 4. Chris McLaren, 5. Jamie Chipman (capt), 6. Adam Cathcart, 7. DJ Forbes, 8. Fritz Lee, 9. Samisoni Fisilau, 10. James Semple, 11. Bundee Aki, 12. Reynold Lee-Lo, 13. Siale Piutau, 14. Tyrone Lefau, 15. Sherwin Stowers.

Reserves: 16. Grant Henson, 17. Ihipa Thompson, 18. Ronald Raaymakers, 19. Sikeli Nabou, 20. August Pulu, 21. Niva Ta’auso or Tasesa Lavea, 22. Ahsee Tuala, 23. Maka Tatafu.

Manawatu: 1. Grant Polson or Peni Kaufusi, 2. Rob Foreman, 3. Ma’afu Fia, 4. Fraser Stone, 5. Michael Fitzgerald, 6. Nick Crosswell (capt), 7. Doug Tietjens, 8. James Oliver, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Aaron Cruden, 11. Junior Tomasi Cama, 12. Johnny Leota, 13. Lewis Marshall, 14. Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 15. Craig Clare or Nehe Milne-Skudder.

Reserves: 16. Bryn Templeman, 17. Kaufusi or Jared Brock, 18. Reece Robinson, 19. Hamish Gosling, 20. Karl Bryson, 21. Daniel Kelly, 22. Clare or Frank Bryant, 23. David Te Moana.

REFEREE: Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri (ITM Cup debut)

**Game 11 Auckland v Otago **Prediction: Auckland by 15-20 points

It will be Auckland’s second game in 3 days and they should have too much class for the young Otago side. Otago however were impressive first round winners in the Championship, but should notice the step up in class.

TEAMS:

Auckland: 1. Tevita Mailau, 2. Ash Dixon, 3. Angus Ta’avao, 4. Richard Haddon, 5. Josh Townsend, 6. Sean Polwart, 7. Daniel Braid (capt), 8. Chris Lowery, 9. Toby Morland, 10. Gareth Anscombe, 11. Viliame Waqaseduadua, 12. Winston Stanley, 13. Teddy Stanaway, 14. Joe Rokocoko, 15. Hadleigh Parkes.

Reserves: 16. Tom McCartney, 17. Pauliasi Manu, 18. Nathan Hughes, 19. Onosai’i Auva’a, 20. Auvasa Faleali’i, 21. Piers Francis, 22. George Moala, 23. Charlie Faumuina.

Otago: 1. Halani Aulika, 2. Liam Coltman, 3. Kees Meeuws, 4. Daniel Ramsay, 5. Tom Donnelly, 6. Regan Tamihere, 7. Eben Joubert (capt), 8. Gareth Evans, 9. Sean Romans, 10. Tony Brown, 11. Buxton Popoali’i, 12. Sam Giddens, 13. Ben Atiga, 14. Joe Hill, 15. Glenn Dickson.

Reserves: 16. Peter Mirrielees, 17. James McGougan, 18. Rob Verbakel, 19. TJ Ioane, 20. Johnny Legg, 21. Jayden Spence, 22. Hayden Parker, 23. Scott Manson.

REFEREE: Garratt Williamson

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How many do u fancy you’ll get right this round? 😉

When is the next game? Or when does round 2 start? Superbru hasn’t updated yet.

@JarsonX (Comment 2) :

Hahahaha …. not many but the only way is up! 😉

Tuesday 😯

Eish! 2 games Tuesday, 2 on Wednesday, 1 on Thursday, nothing Friday and 4 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday 😯

@JarsonX (Comment 4) :

I know non stop – that is why I’m going to talk in Weeks and not rounds …mainly because I can’t work out when one starts and the next ends…impossible. 🙁

This arti The Week 2 Preview only applies to the Tuesday and Wednesday games. 😉

@Hertford Highlander (Comment 5) : http://www.itmcup.co.nz/index.cfm?layout=itmCupFixtures

breaks the comp down into weeks quite nicely

@Greg (Comment 6) :

Cheers Greg …. yeah i think they count the Tuesday and Wednesday games as a separate week then the next week runs Thursday to Sunday…. Monday’s off 😆

I think Superbru are doing that as well by the looks of it ….so it is all coming together. 😎

Full Time: North Harbour 32-15 Tasman

Half Time: Hawke’s Bay 13-7 Southland

Hey WTH is wrong with Superbru? I just got a reminder email for ROUND THREE starting on Thu 21 July?

@Hertford Highlander (Comment 7) : Ah okay I should have read the comments before posting.

@KSA Shark © (Comment 11) : Keep your eye on the ball…..only Monday’s off 😉

Hawke’s Bay 23-11 Southland… Upset looming 😳

Hawke’s Bay 23-18 Southland 😛

26-18

North Harbour by 2

Southland by 1

Counties by 8

Auckland by 3

Fulltime: Hawke’s Bay 29-18 Southland 😕

@Hertford Highlander (Comment 17) : Ai! 🙁

FULLTIME

COUNTIES 32 – 25 MANAWATU

Margin – 7

@JarsonX (Comment 19) : eish 🙁

@Franshark (Comment 20) : I got a margin point for that one 😎 But I need more 😕

Auckland 18 – 32 Otago

10-15mins remaining 😕

HH – you must please put dates when the games are played. I missed 4 games thinking that the play cannot starting earlier than thursday 😈

who plays on tuesdays 😯

@JarsonX (Comment 22) : Not a scoreline I want to see 😥

FULLTIME

AUCKLAND 25 – 32 OTAGO

Margin – 7

@rekinek (Comment 23) : 😯 😈 Got 2 from 4, thats not much better than yours 😆

@JarsonX (Comment 25) : Are you sure you have that the right way round? ITM.co.nz got Auckland winning 32 – 25?

@JarsonX (Comment 25) : Yep, you are right, website got it the wrong way round!

This is a landslide….. Downhill, top after 2 games now 21 eish 🙁