The dark horse in the Pre­mier­ship will be..?

NZ Rugby World - - Mitre 10 Cup Preview -

NORTH HAR­BOUR

Suc­cess will help breed suc­cess for the union. Mo­men­tum will be North Har­bour’s great­est ally and all the right moves have been made in the off-sea­son to build on win­ning the Cham­pi­onship in 2016.

New coach Tom Coven­try is a sage ac­qui­si­tion and he knows suc­cess hav­ing as­sisted Dave Ren­nie in the Chiefs’ back-to-back Su­per Rugby ti­tles.

Whilst not dom­i­nat­ing the lower tier, there were dras­tic im­prove­ments in the Har­bour pack and omi­nously, Ger­ard Cow­ley-Tui­oti has been the Blues’ best for­ward this sea­son.

Shaun Steven­son is a bril­liant sign­ing at this stage in his ca­reer and old-timer Jarrad Hoeata will hit the ground run­ning in a unit that has re­newed self-be­lief af­ter decades of glass-ceil­ing think­ing and play­ing.

If the likes of Bryn Gat­land, Sione Mafileo, Bran­don Nansen and Mur­phy Tara­mai con­tinue to im­prove, there are more than a few up­sets coming.

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