This weekend’s Heartland Championship clash between Mid Canterbury and South Canterbury has plenty riding on it for both sides.
Not only are both sides coming in to the match with identical records, (one win and one loss), the Hanan Shield is on the line.
After a strong period of having the shield safely tucked underneath their arms, the Hammers relinquished control of the trophy in the last game of the round robin last year, when the Hammers were silenced by their neighbours 14-0.
The loss also knocked the Hammers down to the Lochore Cup, so there will be an element of revenge to play for as well.
Looking back over the 11 times the sides have met previously, Mid Canterbury have had the run of the green, winning seven of the games since the competition started in 2006.
During the Hammers’ two-year dominance of the Meads Cup, they recorded strong victories against the Timaru-based team, winning 34-17 in 2015, 24-7 in 2014 and 34-27 back in 2013.
South Canterbury had a successful 2012, winning both matches the sides played, including the Lochore Cup semi-final, which they won 48-20.
When it comes to piling on the points, South Canterbury have the edge, having the largest winning margin of 28, as well as the most points scored in a game, with 48.
Overall, the Hammers have scored the most points between the two sides, notching up 228, while South Canterbury have notched up slightly less with 202.
Based on form, there is little to separate the two sides, with both recording one win and one loss this season.
Mid Canterbury picked up their win against a Poverty Bay side that looks to be struggling this season, winning 34-5, before losing 31-25 to North Otago last week.
South Canterbury narrowly lost to Buller, who have won their opening two games, before taking care of the King Country in a high scoring match in Timaru 42-36.