ITM Cup Rugby Round 7 was an exciting one with plenty of tries being scored and a few upsets. If you get one thing out of ITM Cup Round 7 it is that teams are difficult to beat at home no matter the difference in class. It seems that if you are trying to gain placings in the SuperBru conference then your best bet is to pick a few home teams for upset wins as this seems to be when they happen, rather than picking upsets in every game. There were also two blow outs which are relatively common.
Auckland silenced their critics with an emphatic 39-19 win over Canterbury at Eden Park. Canterbury are now third in the Premiership. While only 42 percent of SuperBru punters tipped this result which made for a horrible Saturday for tipsters, you rarely see Canterbury beaten so comprehensively. It seems that home ground advantage is crucial in the ITM Cup.
While Southland stole my heart by surprising the Stagnation and Otago with their running rugby game at Forsyth Barr for Southland legend Whoppa’s 100th game, it was the only away upset of the round. Less than 10 percent of SuperBru tipsters picked the men in maroon to upset their neighbours.
The other upset came when Manawatu upset their neighbours at home with a gritty 12-6 win over Taranaki.
These two local derbies were polar opposites with conditions indoors at Forsyth Barr Stadium luxurious compared with FMG stadium in Turbo’s country.
Both Manawatu and Southland have some of the best fans in the competition. While these results upset most SuperBru tipsters, the “bucket heads” and The Cabbage Army were stoked.
Wellington and Counties both won away in much closer margins than anticipated given the differences in ITM Cup Premiership standings. Tasman’s 15 point win against Northland was the biggest away win of the weekend. When you consider how Tasman scored a late try and that the Makos are top of the Championship and Northland are bottom, then even this margin could have been bigger.
Canterbury and Hawkes Bay secured massive wins at home, but as Canterbury showed in ITM Cup Round 7 it can be difficult to back up a big win, the next game. They lacked intensity against Auckland and as a Stags supporter I am hoping the Magpies lack the intensity heading down to Invercargill.
How did you go in the ITM Cup Round 7? Did you win the yellow cap? Which teams impressed you?