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Heartland Championship Cheer Guide

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016    allblacks.com    Getty Images

Wanganui will be hosting one of the Meads Cup semifinals, but the other and the Lochore Cup semifinal venues will be confirmed after this weekend’s matches.

In the Mitre 10 Heartland Championship, the teams finishing in places first to fourth will go into the Meads Cup semifinals, with the teams that end up at fifth through eighth competing in the Lochore Cup semifinals. Click here to see the current standings.

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Tie break rules:
In case two teams are tied on competition points after round robin, here’s what happens:
i) The winner of the round robin match between the two sides has the higher position
ii) If they didn’t play a round robin match or drew, then it goes to points difference

If three (or more) teams are tied on competition points, here’s what happens:
i) If all tied teams have played each other, the tied Provincial Union that has earned the most competition points against the other teams that year has the higher position
ii) If all tied teams have not played each other, it goes to points difference

Should teams still be tied after looking at previous results and points difference, then here’s how the tie gets broken:
i) The team with the most tries across the competition has the higher position
ii) If tries scored across the competition is the same, then the team with the most points goes ahead

And if that doesn’t work: it comes down to the toss of a coin!

Here’s our guide to who to cheer for to secure your team the highest possible finish. While you’re at it though: how about a cheer for the match officials as well, since we couldn’t have a game without them!

We haven’t tried to work out every scenario; bonus point draws can make things complicated!

Buller
Playing: King Country on Saturday 15 October in Taupo
Current position: Fourth
A win for Buller should see them into the Meads Cup semifinals, but a bonus point would make it more certain. A loss to King Country and the Rams could take their place in the Meads Cup (depending on how Wairarapa Bush goes). The win over the Bush in Week Six means that if they stay tied after the weekend, Buller will go ahead.
Best case at the end of round robin: Third (Meads Cup)
Worst case at the end of round robin: Sixth (Lochore Cup)
Who to cheer for: Buller, East Coast and South Canterbury

East Coast
Playing: Wairarapa Bush on Saturday 15 October in Masterton
Current position: Twelfth
A win for East Coast would be their first of the season and a great note on which to end the 2016 season. A win could also see them move up the table, depending on how West Coast and Thames Valley go in their respective matches.
Best case at the end of round robin: Tenth
Worst case at the end of round robin: Twelfth
Who to cheer for: East Coast, North Otago and Poverty Bay

Horowhenua Kapiti
Playing: Wanganui on Saturday 15 October in Wanganui
Current position: Ninth
Horowhenua Kapiti can make the Lochore Cup semifinals with a win and the right combination of results. If they end up tied with Poverty Bay or North Otago then points difference will be used to break the ties (they haven’t played the Bay and drew with North Otago). A loss and that’s likely to be the season done for them. 
Best case at the end of round robin: Seventh (Lochore Cup)
Worst case at the end of round robin: Ninth
Who to cheer for: Horowhenua Kapiti, Thames Valley and West Coast

King Country
Playing: Buller on Saturday 15 October in Taupo
Current position: Sixth
A King Country win over Buller could see them into the Meads Cup semifinal – and the southerners drop to the Lochore Cup semis. If King Country tie with Mid Canterbury then the tie would be broken by points difference as the two sides haven’t met. None of the teams below the Rams on the table can overtake them.
Best case at the end of round robin: Third (Meads Cup)
Worst case at the end of round robin: Sixth (Lochore Cup)
Who to cheer for: King Country, East Coast, South Canterbury



Mid Canterbury
Playing: South Canterbury on Saturday 15 October in Timaru
Current position: Third
It’s one of the biggest derbies on the rugby calendar for Mid Canterbury as they head down State Highway One to Timaru. A win – with a bonus point – and they could be hosting a Meads Cup semifinal next weekend. A loss and Wairarapa Bush and the winner of Buller v King Country could overtake them, and they might end up playing for the Lochore Cup.
Best case at the end of round robin: Second (Meads Cup)
Worst case at the end of round robin: Fifth (Lochore Cup)
Who to cheer for: Mid Canterbury, East Coast and a King Country v Buller draw

North Otago
Current position: Seventh
Playing: West Coast on Saturday 15 October in Greymouth
It’s a must-win match for North Otago when they head to the West Coast this weekend. A loss and they could be knocked out of semifinal contention by Poverty Bay and Horowhenua Kapiti if those teams get wins – if tied on competition with either of these two, then the tiebreaker will be points difference (North Otago drew with Horowhenua Kapiti and didn’t play Poverty Bay).
Best case at the end of round robin: Seventh (Lochore Cup)
Worst case at the end of round robin: Ninth
Who to cheer for: North Otago, Thames Valley and Wanganui

Poverty Bay
Playing: Thames Valley on Saturday 15 October in Te Aroha
Current position: Eighth
Poverty Bay also need a win to be sure of a spot in the semifinals. If they lose, they’ll be depending on Horowhenua Kapiti going down to Wanganui (and on keeping a better points difference than Horo Kap because they haven’t met this season). A win could also give them a chance to improve their position, if North Otago lose in Greymouth.
Best case at the end of round robin: Seventh (Lochore Cup)
Worst case at the end of round robin: Ninth
Who to cheer for: Poverty Bay, West Coast and Wanganui

South Canterbury
Playing: Mid Canterbury on Saturday 15 October in Timaru
Current position: Second
A win over Mid Canterbury will guarantee South Canterbury a home Meads Cup semifinal and if Wanganui lose then they could take top spot. A loss and they could still host, provided they don’t concede a bonus point as well because if tied with Mid Canterbury on competition points, the result of this match will break the tie.
Best case at the end of round robin: First (Meads Cup)
Worst case at the end of round robin: Third (Meads Cup)
Who to cheer for: South Canterbury and Horowhenua Kapiti

Thames Valley
Playing: Poverty Bay on Saturday 15 October in Te Aroha
Current position: Eleventh
This will be the last match of the season for Thames Valley and it would be great to see them get their first win of the season. West Coast and East Coast wins could be costly for them if they lose; they could finish their campaign at the bottom of the table.
Best case at the end of round robin: Tenth
Worst case at the end of round robin: Twelfth
Who to cheer for: Thames Valley, North Otago and Wairarapa Bush

Wairarapa Bush
Playing: East Coast on Saturday 15 October in Masterton
Current position: Fifth
It’s all on for Wairarapa Bush this weekend. A win and they could be playing in the Meads Cup and if they lose, they’ll be playing for the Lochore Cup. The Bush lost to Buller in Week Six so if they stay tied on competition points, they’ll be behind them on the ladder – but a Buller loss this weekend won’t help either as it will allow King Country to overtake them.
Best case at the end of round robin: Third (Meads Cup)
Worst case at the end of round robin: Sixth (Lochore Cup)
Who to cheer for: Wairarapa Bush, South Canterbury, and a Buller v King Country draw

Wanganui

Playing: Horowhenua Kapiti on Saturday 15 October in Wanganui
Current position: Ninth
It has been a great season for defending Meads Cup champions Wanganui and they have locked in a home semifinal for next weekend. However, whether they finish first or second will come down to this weekend’s results. If the Butcher’s Boys lose then South Canterbury could knock them off top spot with a win in Timaru.
Best case at the end of round robin: First
Worst case at the end of round robin: Second
Who to cheer for: Wanganui, Mid Canterbury – and the results that will get you the semifinal opponent you would most like to host

West Coast
Playing: North Otago on Saturday 15 October in Greymouth
Current position: Tenth
West Coast’s season finishes this weekend and they’ll want to wrap it up with a win. A win would also help them keep their current position, while a loss would make them vulnerable to being overtaken by Thames Valley and/or East Coast if those teams get their first W for the year.
Best case at the end of round robin: Tenth
Worst case at the end of round robin: Twelfth
Who to cheer for: West Coast, Poverty Bay and Wairarapa Bush

Check out the draw for this weekend's games here.