In the Meads Cup final, defending champions South Canterbury host Whanganui in a blockbuster clash at Pleasant Point Domain on Saturday.
South Canterbury’s 76-9 win over King Country last weekend was the biggest victory in a playoff game in New Zealand provincial rugby history (across both NPC and Heartland). They have won 23 straight games against Heartland opposition and will be heavy favourites to lift the Meads Cup once again in front of their home fans. If any team was to upset them though, it would be Whanganui with their proven finals experience. Incredibly, Whanganui have appeared in 14 out of a possible 15 finals since the finals system was introduced in Heartland Rugby. Out of the 14 finals, the Butcher Boys have won eight (six Meads Cup and two Lochore Cup).
It will be a massive day in Ruatoria as Ngāti Porou East Coast look to add the Lochore Cup to the Bill Osborne Taonga which they have already locked away for the summer. It has been a massive turnaround for Ngāti Porou East Coast in 2022 under the tutelage of coach Hosea Gear. It will be the first finals appearance for East Coast in 10 years. Mid Canterbury stunned North Otago 31-15 in the semifinal last week and will look to spoil another party this weekend.
Check out the team lists below and catch both games live on Sky Sport NZ.
South Canterbury vs. Whanganui
Saturday 22nd October
Pleasant Point Domain, Pleasant Point. 2.05pm KO
1: Vaka Taelega 2: Conor Anderson 3: Tokomaata Fakatava 4: Henry Bryce 5: Anthony Amato 6: Cam Russell 7: Nick Strachan 8: Siu Kakala 9: William Wright 10: Sam Briggs 11: Kalavini Leatigaga 12: Paula Fifita 13: Zac Saunders 14: Lisiate Folau 15: Liueli Simote
Reserves: Melvin Pauni, Garret Casey, Graison Dale, Etienne van Zyl, Salesi Savelio, Theo Davidson,Miles Medlicott, Tomasi Bikaca
1: Keightley Watson 2: Roman Tutauha 3: Gabriel Hakaraia 4: Josh Lane 5: Ben Whale 6: Samu Kubunavanua 7: Jamie Hughes 8: Semi Vodosese 9: Lindsay Horrocks 10: Dane Whale 11: Tyler Rogers-Holden 12: Timoci Seruwalu 13: Josaia Bogileka 14: Alekesio Vakarorogo 15: Ethan Robinson
Reserves: Bradley Fountain, Ranato Tikoisolomone, Jack Yarrall, Peter Travis Hay-Horton, Matthew Ashworth, Caleb Gray, Kameli Kuruyabaki, Tiari Mumby
Ngāti Porou East Coast vs. Mid Canterbury
Sunday 23rd October
Whakarua Park, Ruatoria. 1.05pm KO
1: Hunter Stewart 2: Ben Bartlett 3: Adam Williamson 4: Logan Bonnington 5: Lote Limadeni 6: Manasa Samo 7: Kaydis Hona 8: Michael Hennings 9: Tyler Blackburn 10: Tom Reekie 11: Elyh McKibbin 12: Isireli Masiwini 13: Raitube Vasurakuta 14: Jonetani Vasurakuta 15: Nathan McCloy
Reserves: Mason Briant, Harry Burgess, Ben Crawford, Henry McManus, Shepherd Mhembere, Angus MacKenzie, George Hufanga, Waitangi Tuisuga
Ngāti Porou East Coast
1: Hakarangi Tichborne 2: Joseph Royal 3: Perrin Manuel 4: Hoani Te Moana 5: Morgan Poi 6: Jorian Tangaere 7: William Bolingford 8: Faifili Levave 9: Sam Parkes 10: Carlos Kemp 11: Verdon (Fabyan) Bartlett 12: Joe Wadman 13: Api Pewhairangi 14: Junior Time Taotua 15: Tutere Waenga
Reserves: Jody Tuhaka, Semisi Akana, Khian Westrupp, Richard Green, Jack Richardson, Hamuera Moana, Damien Herewini, Karaitiana Palmer