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Heartland 2014 – out with the Calculators

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{UPDATED 10/10/14}

As we reach the end of the regular season it is time to look ahead and see who are in with a chance to make the semi-finals.

With 9 teams now battling out the 8 spots available in the Lochore and Meads Cup Semi-Finals we look at the different permutations that lie ahead.

Will our Predictions come true ? or will we see a round of upsets , all we can say is it is GREAT to see a competition go down to the wire with everything to play for ……

Buller – Currently 1st Place – 

waibushbuller

Wairarapa Bush 10th v 1st Buller

Buller are have a stellar season , currently unbeaten , 6 points ahead and a road trip to Masterton . The main point here is that even though Buller have secured a Home Meads Cup Semi Final they will want to go into that match with an unbeaten regular season under their belts. Waiting for them though is a wounded Wairarapa Bush who have been below par this season after a good start preseason they lost their way and they know that this is their last appearance of the season , a Tough battle ahead and even though it is 1st vs 10th we say it is to close to call , if we did have to predict a score we would say Buller to continue their winning ways and have a small 8 point win.

Wairarapa Bush
Playing: Buller
Current position: Eleventh
They’re out of semifinal contention but a win over the table-topping Buller side would be a great way for Wairarapa Bush to finish out 2014.
Best case: Tenth
Worst case: Eleventh
Who to cheer for: Wairarapa Bush, Thames Valley

Playing: Wairarapa Bush
Current position: First
Whether they win or lose, Buller will host a Meads Cup semifinal and retain their top of the table position – and if they win then that’s an unbeaten round robin.
Best case: First
Worst case: First
Who to cheer for: Buller


 

Poverty Bay / Horowhenua Kapiti – Currently 2nd & 3rd Place – 

povertybay horokapiti

Poverty Bay 2nd v 3rd Horo- Kapiti

Wow , huge match up Poverty Bay can secure the a Meads Cup Semi Final here but Horowhenua will be out to ruin that party. the winner of this match gets the reward of the coveted Home Semi , yet if Horowhenua Kapiti lose , it could see them drop to the Lochore Cup and a Home Semi , because if Mid or South Canterbury win without a bonus point they will jump Horo-Kapiti and IF King Country secure a try bonus win over Wanganui then the lads from the Horowhenua will be gone , relegated to the Lochore , how do they prevent this ? they need at least 1 point either a Try Bonus or Loss Bonus Point , this will keep them in the Meads Cup.

Poverty Bay
Playing: Horowhenua Kapiti
Current position: Second
Poverty Bay could capture home advantage for a Meads Cup semifinal if they win – a loss and they’ll be on the road. A bonus point could be handy if they lose. South Canterbury beat Poverty Bay in round robin so would go ahead in case of a tie, while Poverty Bay haven’t met Mid Canterbury so points difference would come into play.
Best case: Second
Worst case: Fourth
Who to cheer for: Poverty Bay, Wanganui

Horowhenua Kapiti
Playing: Poverty Bay
Current position: Third
Horowhenua Kapiti will play a semifinal and could secure a home Meads Cup semi with a win. A loss could see them vulnerable to being overtaken by teams below them. A tie with King Country will be broken by points difference, since the two sides haven’t met in round robin.
Best case: Second
Worst case: Fifth
Who to cheer for: Horowhenua Kapiti, Wanganui


South Canterbury / Mid Canterbury – Currently 5th & 4th Place – 

sthcanterbury midcanterbury

Sth Canterbury 5th v 4th Mid Canterbury

Easily one of the biggest clashes this weekend , a Winner takes all scenario , the winner here will be Meads Cup, the Loser goes to the Lochore Cup. Mid Canterbury are the Defending Meads Cup Champions from 2013 while South Canterbury will want to upstage their visitors

South Canterbury
Playing: Mid Canterbury
Current position: Fifth
It could be either set of semifinals for South Canterbury, depending on results. A win and it’s likely they’ll be in the Meads Cup. Thames Valley and South Canterbury haven’t met in 2014 so a tie will go to points difference.
Best case: Second
Worst case: Seventh
Who to cheer for: South Canterbury, West Coast

Mid Canterbury
Playing: South Canterbury
Current position: Fourth
A win will secure a place in the Meads Cup semifinals – a loss and they’ll be contesting the Lochore Cup. Mid Canterbury haven’t played Poverty Bay so if they’re tied on competition points then it will go to points difference and they lost to Thames Valley so will want to avoid a tie with the Swampfoxes.
Best case: Third
Worst case: Seventh
Who to cheer for: Mid Canterbury, Wanganui, West Coast


King Country / Wanganui – Currently 6th & 8th Place – 

coloum5 wanganui

King Country 6th v 8th Wanganui

King Country’s hopes of a Meads Cup game lies within the result of this match. They need to achieve a Try Bonus Victory to enter the Meads Cup semi-finals while Wanganui are also on a Must win Try Bonus scenario to remain in the Lochore Cup and secure a Home Semi Final.  BUT ….. a 4 point Competition win to either side will see Lochore Cup Semifinals for both teams , but here is the but …. If and as more than likely North Otago pick a Try Bonus victory against East Coast then Wanganui may be gone , and then they will will want to have at least 1 bonus point then they will need West Coast to beat Thames Valley in Greymouth and without Thames Valley picking up a point then Wanganui could still squeek in.

King Country
Playing: Wanganui
Current position: Sixth
A win and a draw between Mid Canterbury and South Canterbury (give or take few other scenarios) could see King Country snatch place in the Meads Cup semifinals, although they they are still playing for a place in the Lochore Cup playoffs. If they lose, Wanganui or Thames Valley could overtake them on the ladder. North Otago can’t overtake King Country in case of a tie.
Best case: Third
Worst case: Eighth
Who to cheer for: King Country, Poverty Bay, West Coast, East Coast and cheering for a Mid Canterbury and South Canterbury draw

Wanganui
Playing: King Country
Current position: Eighth
A win will see Wanganui contest for the Lochore Cup, but they will need to ensure they earn one more competition point than North Otago or preserve their current points difference advantage in case of a tie or they could miss out altogether.
Best case: Fourth
Worst case: Ninth
Who to cheer for: Wanganui, East Coast


North Otago / East Coast – Currently 9th & 12th Place – 

nthotago eastcoast

North Otago 9th v 12th East Coast

North Otago at home needing a try Bonus point to secure a Lochore Cup place. East Coast traveling a long way from home , desperate to pick up their first points of the season as they continue to rebuild their team . The Coasters have shown glimpses of the flair they are known for and they will be throwing the ball around this weekend , which could benefit North Otago as a high scoring game is a possibility.

North Otago
Playing: East Coast
Current position: Ninth
North Otago needs one more competition point that Wanganui this weekend in order to overtake the Butcher’s Boys and secure a Lochore Cup semifinal spot. North Otago can’t be overtaken from below them on the table. A tie with King Country would favour KC while a tie with Thames Valley would go North Otago’s way because of round robin results.
Best case: Seventh
Worst case: Ninth
Who to cheer for: North Otago, West Coast and King Country

East Coast
Playing: North Otago
Current position: Twelfth
They can’t change their position on the table but a win for East Coast would be their first of the season and a great note on which to end 2014.
Best case: Twelfth
Worst case: Twelfth
Who to cheer for: East Coast


West Coast / Thames Valley – Currently 11th & 7th Place – 

westcoast thamesvalley

West Coast 11th v 7th Thames Valley

The West Coast’s final match of the season and oh how different it could have been , the Red & Whites have this season dropped three matches by less than 7 points and last week pushed the unbeaten Buller to a stunning result of 24-29 , no win but a try and loss bonus , that see’s them sit on 8pts along with Wairarapa Bush. The lads on the Coast will be wanting to end the season with a win and to Thames Valley a tough encounter is to be expected. If Thames Valley lose it can secure Semi Spots for possibly North Otago , Wanganui and King Country , while a win by Thames Valley could spell diaster for Wanganui and possibly Nth Otago , we here at RugbyHeartland though are going for the Upset …. a 10 point win to the West Coast.

West Coast
Playing: Thames Valley
Current position: Tenth
The semifinals are out of reach for West Coast but a win over Thames Valley would be a strong finish for the red and whites, while they’ll be hoping neighbours Buller hold off Wairarapa Bush, ensuring they don’t get overtaken.
Best case: Tenth
Worst case: Eleventh
Who to cheer for: West Coast, Buller

Thames Valley
Playing: West Coast
Current position: Seventh
The right combination of results and a win with a bonus point for the Swampfoxes could see them in a Lochore Cup semifinal, with a chance of hosting. A loss and they could miss out altogether. North Otago (won in round robin) and Wanganui (points difference) could both go ahead if tied with Thames Valley on points.
Best case: Fifth
Worst case: Ninth
Who to cheer for: Thames Valley, East Coast, King Country


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Week Eight Fixtures (with Current Position)
11.Oct King Country 6th v 8th Wanganui Te Kuiti 2:30PM
11 Oct North Otago 9th v 12th East Coast Oamaru 2:30PM
11 Oct Poverty Bay 2nd v 3rd Horo- Kapiti Gisborne 2:30PM
11 Oct Sth Cant. 5th v 4th Mid Cant. Timaru 2:30PM
11 Oct Wairarapa Bush 10th v 1st Buller Masterton 2:30PM
11 Oct West Coast 11th v 7th Thames Valley Greymouth 2:30PM

2014 Pink Batts Heartland Championship Finals

DATE GAME VENUE TIME (NZ) RESULT
Finals Series  – “Our PREDICITONS”
18 Oct Lochore Semi 1 – 5th v 8th

South Canterbury vs WanganuiTBA2:30PM 18 OctLochore Semi 2 – 6th v 7th

King Country vs North OtagoTBA2:30PM 18 OctMeads Semi 1 – BULLER v 4th (Horo-Kapiti)Westport2:30PM 18 OctMeads Semi 2 – 2nd v 3rd

Poverty Bay vs Mid CanterburyTBA2:30PM 25 OctMeads Cup FinalTBA1:35PM 26.OctLochore Cup FinalTBA2:35PM

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