Provinces opt for derby dates
November 24, 2010
Champions Canterbury will face Tasman, Northland and Manawatu in their crossover games © Getty Images
Traditional rivalries will be prominent in next year's ITM Cup after provincial officials and coaches completed their first-ever match selection in a New Zealand Rugby Union-hosted web-conference.
The 14 teams today had the opportunity to select their opponents in three of the four "crossover" matches, where first-tier Premiership teams play against second-tier Championship teams in next year's new format.
Teams ranked one to seven at the end of the 2010 season will play in the Premiership, while teams ranked eight to 14 will play in the Championship. All provinces will play every other team within their tier (three home and three away matches) as well as four crossover matches, which carry full competition points.
The first round of the crossover matches were automatically determined on seedings after the end of the current season, while the other crossover matches for each province were decided via the conference. The full draw for both competitions will be finalised before the end of the year.
Automatic crossover matches pre-determined by seeding:
Otago v Canterbury (14 v 1), Manawatu v Waikato (13 v 2), Tasman v Auckland (12 v 3), North Harbour v Wellington (11 v 4), Northland v Taranaki (10 v 5), Counties Manukau v Bay of Plenty (9 v 6), Hawke's Bay v Southland (8 v 7).
Crossover match selections:
First round of crossover matches (Championship teams - playing at home - selected a Premiership opponent in reverse seeding order):
Otago v Southland, Manawatu v Taranaki, Tasman v Canterbury, North Harbour v Auckland, Northland v Bay of Plenty, Counties Manukau v Waikato, Hawke's Bay v Wellington.
Second round of crossover matches (Premiership teams - playing at home - selected a Championship team in seeding order):
Canterbury v Northland, Waikato v Otago, Auckland v Counties Manukau, Wellington v Manawatu, Taranaki v Tasman, Bay of Plenty v Hawke's Bay, Southland v North Harbour.
Third round of crossover matches (Championship teams - playing away - selected a Premiership team in seeding order):
Taranaki v Hawke's Bay, Southland v Counties Manukau, Wellington v Northland, Bay of Plenty v North Harbour, Waikato v Tasman, Canterbury v Manawatu, Auckland v Otago.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
With the World Cup just a year away, Tom Hamilton picks out five matches to ensure you have tickets for
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup