As we move to finals weekend for the two divisions of the ITM interprovincial rugby that was seriously compressed this year due to the RWC I will make a few comments.
Canterbury travel to Hamilton to defend their title and Hawkes Bay do battle with Manawatu in Palmy to settle the championship and promotion to the premier division for 2012.
Southland with a roller coaster ride suffer the drop to the championship next year.
With games on six days a week and sometimes a turnaround of only three days, placed serious pressure on squads and coaching staff, the result was a season very difficult to predict results.
But there was some seriously good rugby. Basically any team could beat any other and sometimes the expected winner was sat on their arse. Canterbury lost the shield to a very focussed Southland team who then gave it up to the Naki in their penultimate game and that denied Bay of Plenty their big day out. as I type this Manawatu are having their buildup to the final dealt a reality check with Otago leading 28 - 13 at 73 minutes.
Unfortunately some crowd numbers were poor but some of that would have been sheeted to the money being hoovered up by the RWC tickets.
Anyway great competition, my picks Waikato and Manawatu to win their finals.
In conclusion how would the following go at the Rugby world Cup
Full backs Ben Smith Sean Maitland
Wings Sitivini Sivivatu, Hosea Gear Patrick Osborne Luke O'Donell
Centers Robbie Fruen, Jared Payne, Phill Burliegh Kendrick Lynne.
5/8 Aaron Cruden Lima Sopoanga.
1/2 Toby Mathewson Kahn Fotoili.
8 Colin Burke Brad shields.
7 Scott Waldren, Matt Todd.
6 Karl lowe, Liam Messom
4/5 Jarrod Hoeata, Tom Donnelly, Jeremy Thrush,Josh Bekhuis.
props Wyatt Crockett, Niamaia Tialata, Jamie Mckintosh, Paea Fa'anunu
2 Hika Elliot Dane Coles.
Short of a Tighthead Prop I know.
Grrr…the witch-hunt gravy train rolls on.
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