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Heartland Championship: Semifinals Preview

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Friday, October 21, 2016    allblacks.com    Getty Images

With no interisland battles in the semifinals, it will be a north island v south island battle in both the Meads Cup and Lochore Cup final next weekend.

In the Meads Cup, defending champions Wanganui look to continue their unbeaten run in 2016 when they host neighbours Wairarapa Bush at Cooks Gardens. Wairarapa Bush put 35 points on Wanganui in a losing effort in competition play and have been boosted by former All Blacks star Zac Guilford on the wing this season.

In the other Meads Cup semifinal, South Canterbury face a tough challenge from Buller. In competition play, Buller pushed South Canterbury to the brink in August before falling short 28-26.

In the Lochore Cup, defending champions King Country host Poverty Bay in Taupo while Mid Canterbury host North Otago in Ashburton.

THE MATCH-UPS
Note all records below are taken from the inception of the Heartland Championship in 2006.

MEADS CUP

SOUTH CANTERBURY v BULLER
MATCH DETAILS: Saturday 22 October, 2.30pm at Alpine Energy Stadium, Timaru
Played: 7 (2007-16)
Wins: South Canterbury 2, Buller 5
Last match: South Canterbury 28 Buller 26 (27 August 2016)
Biggest margin: Buller by 13 (45-32) in 2012

WANGANUI v WAIRARAPA BUSH
MATCH DETAILS: Saturday 22 October, 2.30pm at Cooks Gardens, Wanganui
Played: 9 (2006-2015)
Wins: Wairarapa Bush 2, Wanganui 7
Last match: Wanganui 57 Wairarapa Bush 35 (10 October 2015)
Biggest margin: Wanganui by 23 (40-17) in 2007

LOCHORE CUP

KING COUNTRY v POVERTY BAY
MATCH DETAILS: Saturday 22 October, 2.30pm at Owen Delany Park, Taupo
Played: 7
Wins: King Country 2, Poverty Bay 5
Last match: King Country 30 Poverty Bay 24 (3 September 2016)
Biggest winning margin: King Country by 18 (18-0) in 2008

MID CANTERBURY v NORTH OTAGO
MATCH DETAILS: Saturday 22 October, 2.30pm at Ashburton Showgrounds, Ashburton
Played: 13 (2006-2016)
Wins: Mid Canterbury 9, North Otago 4
Last match: Mid Canterbury 40 North Otago 32 (27 August 2016)
Biggest margin: North Otago by 16 (40-24) in 2010