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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Auckland and Waikato produce semi-final nailbiter in the ITM Cup

Auckland and Waikato produce semi-final nailbiter in the ITM Cup

The final of the ITM Cup will be contested by Canterbury and Waikato after the latter beat Auckland 38-37 in a thrilling contest at Eden Park on Saturday. It was a nailbiting finish with all the drama of some of the other great games on the weekend.

A last minute converted try separated the two after it looked like old rivals Auckland and Canterbury would be battling it out for the cup. Instead, Waikato and Canterbury will face each other for the first time in a National Provincial Championship final.

The Waikato win over Auckland was their sixth in succession so despite not being favourites for the final, theyll be brimming with confidence after their sensational win.

Hikairo Forbes was the man who finally barged over after lengthy periods of pressure on the line. Trent Renata then stood up to be counted and duly slotted the winning kick.

"I'm sure it's everybody's dream to do something like that in such a critical game," tryscorer Forbes, who came on as hooker replacement, said afterwards.

"The noise was incredible. I spent most of the time on the bench and you could hear everything. I'm sure it helped. It was just a pretty mean atmosphere for the guys."

The turnout in the refurbished stadium was a little over ten thousand, with the Waikato fans making the biggest noise come the last few minutes.

Incredibly, the transmission started breaking up at the crucial moments near the end of the game, so there were no replays of the try and youll see a few jumpy bits. Luckily the important stuff was captured though as Waikato recorded their famous win.

Time: 06:03

Posted by Rugbydump at 11:51 am | View Comments (15)

Viewing 15 comments

NiWiTa November 02, 2010 1:07 pm

well done Waikato! unlucky first-mongers....What a magic game by the way

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OaksWinger November 02, 2010 1:48 pm

What a game, so unlucky to lose it like that.

Looking forward to the final now, hopefully it will be similar to this match!

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Anonymous November 02, 2010 3:31 pm

Great rugby!

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Wolfman21 November 02, 2010 4:22 pm

A great game - there was some really good rugby in the Southern Hemisphere over the weekend (only caught the highlights from up north).

This isn't meant as a trolling question, but why was the stadium so empty? Are there normally more supporters for the ITM cup? Or does it not raise the same level of interest as the Currie Cup does in South Africa (also a third tier competition)?

Also, if there were no replays available of the last try, does that it mean that the TV ref also wouldn't have been able to see any replays? Strange situation!

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Leeners93 November 02, 2010 5:35 pm

great game,some seriously good attacking play;defence seemed a bit lax around the fringes though,a scrum-half's dream!
fair play to the waikato 10,loads of pressure on him.i couldn't believe the way he struck the ball though,no follow through,ball could have gone anywhere!lucky for him it went through the posts

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Max November 02, 2010 11:16 pm

The Currie Cup has Springboks in it. The ITM cup rarely has All Blacks running around in it these days and that effects support. Also the entertainment market is just generally more congested here than in SA (no offense SA) so it's unrealistic to expect full houses all the time for third tier footy. In its glory days the NPC had big crowds but that was before super rugby. People talking down the crowds is so annoying considering 3rd tier rugby in the NH (eg. Div one in England) isn't even good enough to post on this site and people definitely wouldn't expect big crowds at those games!

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Anonymous November 03, 2010 12:35 am

great game - pity about the lack of support. We have more people watching our school and uni games in SA

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Juggernauter November 03, 2010 2:16 am

I pray to God that the kiwis are saving their money for the World Cup and haven't lost completetely their interest in rugby!!

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Bazz November 03, 2010 4:25 am

Stop trolling Juggernauter....tosser

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Rodney November 03, 2010 4:33 am

Of course nobody goes to watch down there. Kiwis don't like rugby and never have, imagine how good they would be if they did. So stop complaining. The IRB wants them involved to keep the standard of play up, but there's plenty of other things they'd rather be doing.

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Matt November 03, 2010 8:55 am

Nicely put Rodney.

We should also mention that games are usually played in the evenings now in order to pick up audiences in the northern hemisphere due to the time differences.

How often do big games incl All Blacks matches get played during the warm afternoons?

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Anonymous November 03, 2010 9:43 am

that turnout is seriously poor!
nice game though

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Phil November 03, 2010 10:33 am

Pretty lame to keep talking about the turnout. Intense rugby, and as an Englishman I have to agree that this would knock spots off our third tier rugger!

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Dave November 03, 2010 1:16 pm

I am not trolling here, but whats wrong with mentioning the turnout?

As an edinburgh fan, that pretty much all people mention to us. They cant understand how good quality running rugby (watch any of our highlights on RD) can attract so little crowds.

For us, we can say that theres little interest in rugby in scotland, many football fans actively hate it and wouldnt go to a game if it was the last thing on earth, bad marketing etc etc.

But in New Zealand? the supposedly rugby mad country, that has the best team in the world, that plays an apparently sublime style of rugby right down to this level? If that doesnt pull in the crowds for a semi-final of your domestic comp, then somethings wrong. You shouldnt need your internationals playing for people to see a good game of rugby, as this clip shows. Surely these teams should have a fanbase much bigger than that.

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secondfive November 04, 2010 2:45 pm

One thing to remember is that NZ has had weeks and weeks of top level rugby played by many of the best teams in the world. It's not surprising that a third level comp like this does not have huge crowds at the tail end of the season. There's not a hell of a lot of people in NZ and even their love of rugby doesn't mean they can shell out to go to every single game that's put in front of them for months on end. And the ITM is televised live as well.
Also, the ITM Cup doesn't have the history and aura that goes with a Ranfurly Shield game for example. For many fans Shield games would outrank any of the domestic provincial comps.

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