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2022 HEARTLAND SHADOW DRAW

By J B Phillips

Steelform Whanganui faces a most interesting Heartland rugby schedule next year including visits from three South Island unions and an away challenge for the new Bill Osborne Taonga.

Hanan Shield next door neighbours South and Mid Canterbury will play at Cooks Gardens as will Buller with the Butcher Boys also to host struggling King Country during the qualifying rounds in the Bunnings Warehouse-sponsored competition.

Whanganui’s away trips will be to East Coast, Poverty Bay, Horowhenua-Kapiti and one South Island flight to West Coast.

There will be no qualifying fixtures against 2018 Meads Cup champions and this year’s runners-up Thames Valley, 2019 Meads victors North Otago, who were runners-up here in this month’s close Lochore final at Cooks Gardens, or 2006 Meads winners Wairarapa-Bush.

It will be the fourth time that Mid and South Canterbury have both played here in the same season, the previous occasions being in 2006-10-18 with the visitors losing all six matches.

Cooks Gardens hosted five South land teams during an unbeaten 2008 season – Buller, North Otago, West Coast and Mid Canterbury (twice).

There were three southern sides here in each of 2010-13-16-18.

Poverty Bay, who won the inaugural Bill Osborne Taonga this months in the play-off for fifth and sixth, will defend the trophy in home fixtures against Whanganui, Thames Valley, East Coast and Wairarapa-Bush next season.

The order of the challengers will not be known until the 2022 playing dates are released by the NZRU.

Semi-finals for the Meads and Lochore Cups are to be reintroduced next season with the Osborne Taonga to become a challenge trophy along the lines of the Ranfurly Shield.

The highest 2021 ranked teams Whanganui strikes in 2022 are at home v  South Canterbury (1) and Mid Canterbury (6) and away v Poverty Bay (5), Horowhenua-Kapiti (7), East Coast (8) and West Coast (9).

Visitors Buller (11) and King Country (12) finished in the bottom two Heartland positions this year.

The Butcher Boys do not encounter Thames Valley (2), North Otago (4) or Wairarapa-Bush (10).

Whanganui will have two games against King Country in 2022, an agreed early season away fixture to mark King Country’s centenary celebrations and a Heartland match on Cooks Gardens.

It is likely a pre-season non first class away game could be arranged with Wairarapa-Bush to give that union a Bruce Steel Memorial Cup challenge.

Pahiatua would be an ideal venue because the two unions have not played there since 1986 and it would avoid Whanganui having to play on the controversial artificial Masterton field which results in painful sharp grass skin burns.

Next year Meads Cup finalists South Canterbury and Thames Valley, who did not meet during the qualifying rounds, clash in Timaru but the Swamp Foxes are not drawn to play Whanganui, Mid Canterbury or East Coast.

The following are the 2022 fixtures for the 12 Heartland unions with
their current rankings in brackets and the order of games and playing dates still to be released –


  •  (1)
    • Home: Thames Valley (2), North Otago (4), Poverty Bay (5), Ngāti Porou East Coast (8).
    • Away: Whanganui (3), Mid Canterbury (6), Horowhenua-Kapiti (7), Wairarapa-Bush (10).
    • Do not play (DNP) : West Coast (9), Buller (11), King Country (12).

  •  (2)
    • Home: North Otago (4), Horowhenua-Kapiti (7), West Coast (9), Wairarapa-Bush (10).
    • Away: South Canterbury (1), Poverty Bay (5), Buller (11), King Country (12).
    • DNP: Whanganui (3), Mid Canterbury (6), Ngāti Porou East Coast (8)

  •  (3)
    • Home: South Canterbury (1), Mid Canterbury (6), Buller (11), King Country (12).
    • Away: Poverty Bay (5), Horowhenua-Kapiti (7), Ngāti Porou East Coast (8),  West Coast (9).
    • DNP: Thames Valley (2), North Otago (4), Wairarapa-Bush (10).

  •  (4)
    • Home: Mid Canterbury (6), Horowhenua-Kapiti (7), West Coast (9), Buller (11).
    • Away: South Canterbury (1), Thames Valley (2), Wairarapa-Bush (10), King Country (12).
    • DNP: Whanganui (3), Poverty Bay (5), Ngāti Porou East Coast (8)

  •  (5)
    • Home: Thames Valley (2), Whanganui (3), Ngāti Porou East Coast (8), Wairarapa-Bush (10).
    • Away: South Canterbury (1), West Coast (9), Buller (11), King Country (12).
    • DNP: North Otago (4), Mid Canterbury (6), Horowhenua-Kapiti (7).

  •  (6)
    • Home: South Canterbury (1), Ngāti Porou East Coast (8), West Coast (9), King Country (12).
    • Away: Whanganui (3), North Otago (4), Horowhenua-Kapiti (7), Buller (11).
    • DNP: Thames Valley (2), Poverty Bay (5), Wairarapa-Bush (10).

  •  (7)
    • Home: South Canterbury (1), Whanganui (3), Mid Canterbury (6), King Country (12).
    • Away: Thames Valley (2), North Otago (4), Ngāti Porou East Coast (8), Wairarapa-Bush (10).
    • DNP: Poverty Bay (5), West Coast (9), Buller (11).

  •  (8)
    • Home: Whanganui (3), Horowhenua-Kapiti (7), West Coast (9), Wairarapa-Bush (10).
    • Away: South Canterbury (1), Mid Canterbury (6), Poverty Bay (5), King Country (12).
    • DNP: Thames Valley (2), North Otago (4), Buller (11).

  •  (9)
    • Home: Whanganui (3), Poverty Bay (5), Wairarapa-Bush (10), Buller (11).
    • Away: Ngāti Porou East Coast (8), Thames Valley (2), North Otago (4), Mid Canterbury (6).
    • DNP: Horowhenua-Kapiti (7), South Canterbury (1), King Country (12).

  •  (10)
    • Home: South Canterbury (1), North Otago (4), Horowhenua-Kapiti (7), Buller (11).
    • Away: Thames Valley (2), Poverty Bay (5), Ngāti Porou East Coast (8), West Coast (9).
    • DNP: Whanganui (3), Mid Canterbury (6). King Country (12).

  •  (11)
    • Home: Thames Valley (2), Poverty Bay (5), Mid Canterbury (6), King Country (12).
    • Away: Whanganui (3), North Otago (4), West Coast (9), Wairarapa-Bush (10).
    • DNP: South Canterbury (1), Ngāti Porou East Coast (8), Horowhenua-Kapiti (7).

  •  (12)
    • Home: Thames Valley (2), North Otago (4), Poverty Bay (5), Ngāti Porou East Coast (8).
    • Away: Whanganui (3), Mid Canterbury (6), Horowhenua-Kapiti (7), Buller (11).
    • DNP: South Canterbury (1), West Coast (9), Wairarapa-Bush (10).

 

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