ITM Cup Rugby Round 1 Preview

||ITM Cup Rugby Round 1 Preview

itm cupITM Cup Round 1 starts on Thursday night with the opening round likely to feature several upsets.  All teams have been playing some kind of warm up matches, but it is difficult to know how much to read into these results.  It is also difficult to know how teams will go without their All Blacks for most of the competition.  Rugby goes from famine to feast with both ITM Cup and the Rugby Championship starting this weekend.  You do notice the gulf in standards between the two though!  ITM Cup Round 1 is usually a mixed bag with some really scrappy games.  Who are you picking to win in the ITM Cup Round 1?

There are some mouth-watering clashes in ITM Cup Round 1.

The Waikato vs Northland Ranfurly Shield challenge will be Northland’s best chance to win the Log of Wood in years.  It will take the top teams plenty of time to get into gear with the finals their main aim.  The thought of the Rupeni and Rene show for Northland is an exciting prospect and the incentive of the Ranfurly Shield could inspire them, but I am picking Waikato to just win a close one.

I think Taranaki, Tasman, Counties-Manukau and Otago could also pick up wins over more fancied opponents, but I am only picking two of these teams to actually pick up a win.

Counties-Manukau is my pick for an upset in Round 1.  They blew the Stags away in Round 1 last season and will be the surprise package of the ITM Cup Premiership after an impressive season in 2012.

I am also picking an improving Otago team to beat Bay of Plenty on Sunday.

Northland will be the surprise package of the Championship assuming Rene and Rupeni stay injury free.

Tasman have been impressive in pre-season and could topple the Southland Stags in Round 1 who were poor during pre-season, but I have to pick the Stags as they are my team and they are at home.

Auckland and Hawkes Bay should pick up wins.

Manawatu will miss their All Blacks, the two Aarons.

My ITM Cup Round 1 SuperBru Picks

GameDate and timeYour pick
[1] Counties Manukau v Wellington15 Aug 19:35 (local)
15 Aug 19:35 (your time*)
Counties Manukau by 5
[2] Canterbury v Taranaki16 Aug 19:35 (local)
16 Aug 19:35 (your time*)
Canterbury by 3
[3] Hawke’s Bay v Manawatu17 Aug 14:35 (local)
17 Aug 14:35 (your time*)
Hawke’s Bay by 7
[4] Southland v Tasman17 Aug 17:35 (local)
17 Aug 17:35 (your time*)
Southland by 6
[6] Auckland v North Harbour18 Aug 14:35 (local)
18 Aug 14:35 (your time*)
Auckland by 12
[7] Otago v Bay of Plenty18 Aug 16:35 (local)
18 Aug 16:35 (your time*)
Otago by 6
[23] Waikato v Northland17 Aug 19:35 (local)
17 Aug 19:35 (your time*)
Waikato by 7



Who are you picking to win in ITM Cup Round 1 2013?  Who is your team playing and how will they go?


By |2013-08-14T09:13:25+00:00August 14th, 2013|

About the Author:

Scotty Donaldson is an All Blacks, Highlanders and long suffering Southland Stags rugby supporter who enjoys providing astute analysis through research and experience in sports writing. Super Rugby Tips provides him with the opportunity to provide valuable insight for punters with both fantasy and virtual rugby type competitions in mind. My highlights are the mighty Southland Stags winning the Ranfurly Shield first the first time in over 50 years in 2009 and being at Eden Park to watch the All Blacks win the 2011 Rugby World Cup final.