Shut­ting down first five is key

South Waikato News - - COMPETITION 2010 - By MATHEW GROCOTT

Shut­ting down Auck­land’s rookie first five looks to be the key to Waikato book­ing a spot in the ITM Cup fi­nal.

The tra­di­tional ri­vals meet at Eden Park on Fri­day night with the win­ner to face ei­ther Welling­ton or Can­ter­bury in the ti­tle de­cider.

For Waikato to pre­vail they’ll need to tar­get Auck­land num­ber 10 Gareth An­scombe.

An­scombe has been a rev­e­la­tion since se­cur­ing a start­ing spot this sea­son, star­ring in sev­eral matches.

On Sun­day he se­cured 34 points in Auck­land’s 49-10 win over Tas­man, in­clud­ing two tries.

That per­for­mance has seen Auck­land me­dia dis­cussing his po­ten­tial as a Su­per 15 player next year.

Waikato this Fri­day will give the teen a much tougher test than the Makos did, how­ever.

The Mooloos out-classed com­pe­ti­tion lead­ers Can­ter­bury on Fri­day night.

Like Can­ter­bury, Auck­land are now missing sev­eral All Blacks off on in­ter­na­tional duty.

Auck­land will also re­mem­ber it was Waikato who won their clash in round two of this sea­son, com­ing from be­hind to win 21-18.

De­spite em­bar­rass­ing Can­ter­bury on Fri­day Waikato may be hop­ing it is Welling­ton who they face in the fi­nal.

Not only would the game then be at home, rather than ver­sus Can­ter­bury at AMI Sta­dium but Welling­ton have played in the last five pro­vin­cial fi­nals, los­ing all of them.

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