A thrilling weekend of semifinal action has seen the 2018 Mitre 10 Cup and Mitre 10 Heartland Championship finalists confirmed.
Auckland will host Canterbury in the Mitre 10 Cup Premiership Final at Eden Park next Saturday.
Semifinal victory over Wellington secured a spot in the Final for Auckland, number 8 Akira Ioane contributed two of his team’s five tries in the 38-17 win.
Canterbury advance courtesy of a 21-16 semifinal victory of Tasman in Nelson. Captain Mitch Drummond was instrumental in a composed performance that saw Canterbury come from behind, two second half Drummond tries sealing the victory.
Auckland Rugby has announced entry to Eden Park for the Final will be free of charge.
The Championship Final will be played in Hamilton, Waikato hosting Otago with the winner gaining promotion into the 2019 Premiership.
Waikato had to come from behind in their semifinal fixture against Northland, four tries to wing Sevu Reece and a perfect record off the boot for Fletcher Smith confirmed the 48-26 win.
Otago left it late to get the job done against a gritty Hawke’s Bay team, but a Josh Ioane penalty after the buzzer stole the 20-19 result.
In the Mitre 10 Heartland Championship, there will be a new name on the Meads Cup with South Canterbury and Thames Valley going head to head in the Final.
South Canterbury were dominant in their semifinal, with a 58-21 win over King Country to secure home advantage in the Final.
Thames Valley provided the upset of the weekend, beating top-finishing Wanganui 17-7 to advance to their first Meads Cup Final.
The Lochore Cup will be decided in Levin with Horowhenua Kapiti hosting Wairarapa Bush for the title.
Horowhenua Kapiti beat 34-24 in their semifinal while Wairarapa Bush got past North Otago 30-21.
Mitre 10 Cup Premiership Final
Auckland v Canterbury
Saturday 27 October
Eden Park, Auckland – kick off 4.05pm
Mitre 10 Cup Championship Final
Waikato v Otago
Friday 26 October
FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton – kick off 7.35pm
Mitre 10 Heartland Championship – Mead Cup Final
South Canterbury v Thames Valley
Saturday 27 October
Alpine Energy Stadium, Timaru – kick off 1.05pm
Mitre 10 Heartland Championship – Lochore Cup Final
Horowhenua Kapiti v Wairarapa Bush
Sunday 28 October
Levin Domain, Levin – kick off 2.35pm