A trip to Ashburton completes the second leg of Thames Valley’s last two away games in the round robin section of the Mitre 10 Heartland Championship. Thames Valley needs to win to stay alive in this year’s competition and they need to hit the ground running this weekend to do so. It remains unclear as to whether or not skipper, Jonnie Te Ruki Chambers will be fit to play but his presence could make all the difference judging by the results in his absence. The first four games in which he played, were close fought affairs but the last two games without him were both heavy defeats.
Mid Canterbury has been going along nicely, currently sitting in fourth place on the ladder and returning home to the Ashburton Show Grounds for this weekend’s game following a 76-22 mauling of East Coast in Ruatoria. Last year Mid Canterbury finished runner up in pool play, only one point behind South Canterbury and earned a home semi final against Wanganui in the Meads Cup before going down 26-11.
These sides didn’t meet last year but Thames Valley won the last encounter in 2014, 20-15 at the Paeroa Domain. They have met seven times since 2007 with Mid Canterbury winning four games and Thames Valley, three. Interestingly, five of these games were played in Ashburton with Thames Valley winning the initial game 13-7 in 2007. The game starts at 2.30pm and will be controlled by Referee Boris Jurlina from Northland.
All Thames Valley rugby followers should take note of the following important announcement. The round eight game between Thames Valley and Poverty Bay was scheduled to be played at the Paeroa Domain on October 15 but there has been a change of venue and the game will now be played at Boyd Park, Te Aroha. Kick off time will remain the same, at 2.00pm.