Taranaki will open this year’s ITM Cup season by hosting Ranfurly Shield holders Counties Manukau at Yarrow Stadium on Thursday 14 August.
“New Zealand Rugby has today released the final 2014 draw for the nine-week plus playoffs competition.”
The first round of the 11-week competition also sees the Southland Stags hosting the Bay of Plenty Steamers on Friday night 15 August. The weekend will see Auckland head to Christchurch to face Canterbury, the Wellington Lions host the Waikato Mooloos at Westpac Stadium while last year’s winners of promotion into the Premiership, Tasman’s Makos, will host the Hawke’s Bay Magpies at Lansdowne Park in Blenheim.
The opening round closes out on Sunday with Northland’s Taniwha hosting the Manawatu Turbos at Whangarei’s Toll Stadium.
Two teams who felt the elation and heartache of winning then losing the Ranfurly Shield in consecutive matches, will get the first two scheduled Ranfurly Shield challenges in the competition.
Otago’s Razorbacks will be the first to get their shot in Week 2 as they try to wrestle the precious Log O’ Wood from the Counties Manukau Steelers. The Magpies are next on the draw with a Week 3 challenge, and they will be hoping to settle the score having lost the Shield to Counties Manukau just one week after taking it off Otago last year.
The Steelers fended off three challenges in 2013 from Taranaki, Waikato and Southland before locking up the precious prize for the summer.
This year’s ITM Cup semifinals will be played in the weekend of 17 October, with the ITM Cup Championship Final on Friday 24 October, with the right for promotion up for grabs.
- Auckland hosts the traditional battle of the bridge playing against North Harbour for the Brian Purdy Memorial Trophy and Newstalk ZB Trans Harbour Trophy at Eden Park in Week 6
- Hawke’s Bay and Manawatu play for the Kel Tremain Memorial Trophy in Week 8 at Palmerston North’s FMG Stadium
- As in previous years, the Women’s Provincial Championship Final will be played as the curtain raiser to the ITM Cup Premiership Final regardless of who hosts that match.
Click here view the 2014 ITM Cup draw
2014 ITM Cup Draw
Current as at 11 March 2014
All details are subject to change, home team is listed first.
(RS) Ranfurly Shield match
DATE KICK OFF MATCH VENUE CITY WEEK
Week 1. Thursday 14 August – Sunday 17 August
- Thurs 7.35pm Taranaki v Counties Manukau Yarrow Stadium New Plymouth
- Fri 7.35pm Southland v Bay of Plenty Rugby Park Invercargill
- Sat 2.35pm Otago v North Harbour Forsyth Barr Stadium Dunedin
- Sat 4.35pm Canterbury v Auckland AMI Stadium (Addington) Christchurch
- Sat 6.35pm Wellington v Waikato Westpac Stadium Wellington
- Sun 2.35pm Tasman v Hawke’s Bay Lansdowne Park Blenheim
- Sun 4.35pm Northland v Manawatu Toll Stadium Whangarei