Farah Palmer Cup: Round 3 preview

Getty Images     14 Sep 2017     Getty Images

Counties Manukau went unbeaten in 2016 and have picked up where they left off with two big wins to start their 2017 campaign. Auckland have started with a win and a draw and will be looking to avenge their loss to the Heat in last year’s final. 


The match kicks off 12pm at Bell Park in Pakuranga and will be live-streamed at and the Black Ferns facebook page.

The weekend’s action begins with an intriguing Championship match-up between Hawke’s Bay and Otago. The southerner’s sit in second spot in the Championship and will be looking for a big victory over win-less Hawke’s Bay to keep the pressure on Championship front-runners Bay of Plenty.

In match that will propel one team squarely into playoff contention, Canterbury host Manawatu at Linfield Park in Christchurch. Canterbury have the historical edge with 10 wins compared to Manawatu’s one victory in their rivalry. But Manawatu showed with their impressive 35-27 win over Wellington last week that they will be a force in 2017.

Moving up the country, Waikato host Wellington in another clash that be pivotal to either side’s playoff aspirations. Last year Wellington won the corresponding clash 25-17 and Waikato will be hoping to reverse the result at home.

Finally, the weekend is rounded out when Championship leaders Bay of Plenty host North Harbour in Rotorua. Last year North Harbour thumped Bay of Plenty 31-11 but the Volcanix are a vastly improved team in 2017.

Farah Palmer Cup – week 3 fixtures

Hawke’s Bay Tui’s v Otago Spirit

Saturday 16 September, 11am at Tremain Field, Napier
Played: 10 (2004-2015)
Wins: Hawke's Bay 3, Otago 7
Last match: Otago 32, Hawke's Bay 14 (2015)

Auckland Storm v Counties Manukau Heat
Saturday 16 September, 12pm at Bell Park, Auckland
Match live streamed on
Played: 7 (1999-2016)
Wins: Auckland 5, Counties Manukau 2
Last match: Counties Manukau 41, Auckland 22 (2016)

Canterbury v Manawatu Cyclones
Saturday 16 September, 12pm at Linfield Park, Christchurch
Played: 12 (2000-2016)
Wins: Canterbury 10, Manawatu 1, Draws 1
Last match: Canterbury 27 Manawatu 22 (2016)

Bay of Plenty Volcanix v North Harbour Hibiscus
Saturday 16 September, 2pm at Rotorua International Stadium
Played: 6 (1999-2016)
Wins: Bay of Plenty 5, North Harbour 1
Last match: North Harbour 31, Bay of Plenty 11 (2016)

Waikato v Wellington Pride

Saturday 16 September, 1pm at Marist RFC, Hamilton
Played: 10 (2001-2016)
Wins: Waikato 4, Wellington 6
Last match: Wellington 25, Waikato 17 (2016)

Tasman have the bye.