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Farah Palmer Cup Preview: Semifinals

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allblacks.com     23 Sep 2016     Getty Images

In Pukekohe, first placed Counties Manukau Heat host Wellington Pride in an intriguing clash on Saturday. Although the Heat defeated the Pride comfortably 37-5 in the round robin, Wellington have the historical edge over Counties Manukau and showed during the Farah Palmer Cup round robin that they cannot be discounted with four impressive victories to claim fourth place on the ladder.

QUICK TAP: THE 2016 FARAH PALMER CUP IN NUMBERS

Auckland will be cautious about playing a Canterbury side in the semifinals that has improved drastically in 2016. After being dismantled 70-8 last year against Auckland, Canterbury have been the big improver this season. In their round robin clash, Canterbury went down 29-25 in a nail biter to the reigning champions. With 2015 world player of the year Kendra Cocksedge in great form, Canterbury will back themselves for an upset against Auckland in a game that will be screened LIVE on Sky Sport at 12.05pm on Saturday.

THE MATCH-UPS

COUNTIES MANUKAU v WELLINGTON
Match details: Saturday 24 September, 12.00pm at ECOLight Stadium, Pukekohe
Played: 5, 2013-2016 | Counties Manukau wins: 2 | Wellington wins: 3
Last match: Counties Manukau 37 Wellington 5, 09.09.16 in Pukekohe
Last Wellington win: Wellington 29 Counties Manukau 23 in 2015
Biggest Counties Manukau score: 37 (37-23) in 2014
Biggest Wellington score: 42 (42-29) in 2013
Biggest differential: Wellington by 15 (2015)

AUCKLAND v CANTERBURY
Match details: Saturday 24 September, 12.05pm at Auckland University Rugby Football Club, Colin Maiden Park (and Live on Sky Sport)
Played: 19, 2001-2016 | Auckland wins: 18 | Canterbury wins: 1
Last match: Auckland 29 Canterbury 25, 03.09.16 in Christchurch
Last Canterbury win: Canterbury 20 Auckland 15 in 2009
Biggest Auckland score: 70 (70-8) in 2015
Biggest Canterbury score: 25 (25-29) in 2016
Biggest differential: Auckland by 62 (70-8) in 2015