Kicking won’t be high on the agenda as Auckland and North Harbour face off in the New Zealand Cup today.
The two form sides of the competition will meet at Eden Park, Auckland with the winner claiming the top spot in the pool.
North Harbour boast an unbeaten record built on the back of a dominant pack who have exceeded expectations this season. The midfield pairing of Rua Tipoki and Anthony Tuitavake have made it their business to devastate opposition defensive lines and will surely test Auckland all evening.
An uncharacteristically scrappy performance against Wellington last week meant a first loss for Auckland. But the hosts will look to rekindle their post-Wellington form, which saw them secure bonus points in all four of their preceeding games, scoring more tries and making more line breaks than any other team in the competition.
Historically Auckland have had the wood on North Harbour. The teams have played 29 times with Auckland winning 23 of those encounters and drawing once.
The weekends other fixtures:
1 September – Auckland v North Harbour
2 September – Tasman v Bay of Plenty
2 September – Manawatu v Wellington
2 September – Canterbury v Otago
3 September – Hawke’s Bay v Waikato
3 September – Counties Manukau v Southland