The 12 Heartland provincial unions take to the field this weekend to battle it out for the Meads and Lochore Cups in this year’s Mitre 10 Heartland Championship.
Thames Valley and Horowhenua-Kapiti will be the first two teams to kick off the newly named competition when they play at the Paeroa Domain at 2pm this Saturday.
Title holders Wanganui will be looking to defend the Meads Cup, while King Country will be hoping their 2015 Lochore Cup crown is a stepping stone onto Meads Cup success.
The competition features eight Round Robin matches, followed by a semifinal and final. The top eight teams go into the playoffs for the Meads Cup and the Lochore Cup, with the remaining four teams dropping out of the competition.
Horewhenua-Kapiti will play two back to back curtain-raisers prior to Mitre 10 Cup games. The first on 3 September against Wairarapa Bush at Westpac Stadium – before Wellington v North Harbour. The second away the following Saturday in a clash with North Otago at Forsyth Barr Stadium – ahead of Otago v Tasman.
This year, a new point scoring system is being trialled with tries worth six points, and penalty goals, conversions and drop goals all worth two points. A penalty try will also be worth eight points with no conversion attempt required. This is different to the new breakdown laws being trialled separately in the Mitre 10 Cup competition.
The draw is available on our fixtures and results page.
Selected matches feature will feature on Mainfreight Rugby on SKY TV.
A copy of the Mitre 10 Heartland Championship Media Guide – complete with squad lists, regulations, historic results and records, and referee profiles, is available here.
Previews and Reviews:
Check out the weekly preview and review summary of the Mitre 10 Heartland Championship each week online on our main page at www.heartlandchampionship.co.nz.