September start for cup games

Provincial  rugby is set to begin a month later than initially planned.

A revised draw for the Mitre 10 Cup was released yesterday, taking into account the impact Covid-19 has had on the sporting schedule.

For both Otago and Southland it is purely dates and times that have changed.

Both teams play the same opponents in the same order.

In the majority of cases the games are on the same day of the week and at the same time.

However, rather than an early August kick-off, the season will now begin in September.

Otago hosts Auckland on Saturday, September 12 at Forsyth Barr Stadium in its season opener.

Southland follows a day later against Hawke’s Bay in Invercargill.

North Otago will get a jump on both, playing a Ranfurly Shield challenge against Canterbury on August 28.

If Canterbury can see off a further three challenges after that, Otago will get its own shot at the shield on Friday October 30.

The round robin ends on November 15. Semifinals and finals follow the next two weeks.

Other notable features of the revised draw are two 2.05pm games on every Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the 7.35pm kickoffs have moved to 7.05pm, as they have in Super Rugby.

The Farah Palmer Cup draw is still being finalised. It is hoped to have as many double-headers with Mitre 10 Cup matches as possible.


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