Steamers to face Hawke‘s Bay in shield challenge
The Bay of Plenty Steamers will resume their Bunnings Warehouse NPC campaign this Sunday, September 19, with a Ranfurly Shield challenge against Hawke's Bay in Napier.
NZR has released the revised draw for the Bunnings Warehouse Heartland Championship season, which will kick-off a month late due to Covid-19 restrictions, and a re-jigged schedule for what will be the third round of the Bunnings Warehouse NPC.
The Bunnings Warehouse Heartland Championship draw is here and the round three schedule for the Bunnings Warehouse NPC is here. A revised Farah Palmer Cup (FPC) draw will be announced early next week.
NZR’s domestic competitions, which have been on hold since mid-August due to Covid-19, can resume under Alert Level 2, meaning all teams outside of Auckland, which remains at Alert Level 4, can return to play from Friday, September 17.
Steve Lancaster, NZR General Manager Community Rugby, is pleased to provide some certainty for fans, players, Provincial Unions and other stakeholders.
“It’s an uncertain time for everyone, so to have matches scheduled for next weekend and some exciting Bunnings Warehouse NPC and Heartland Championship rugby to look forward to is a great result. We are committed to playing all three domestic competitions in their entirety, and remain hopeful our teams in Auckland will be in a position to return to play in the coming weeks,” Lancaster says.
“It will be particularly pleasing to see the Bunnings Warehouse Heartland Championship kick off. Our rural communities missed out on supporting their teams last season and have been on hold again in 2021. Hopefully rugby can provide some relief during these challenging times.”
King Country and Mid Canterbury will get the Bunnings Warehouse Heartland Championship season underway at Rugby Park in Te Kuiti, while Buller, North Otago, Wairarapa Bush, Whanganui and West Coast will also play host as all six Round 1 matches are played on Saturday, September 18.
The Meads Cup and Lochore Cup finals are now scheduled for the weekend of November 13.
Week three of the Bunnings Warehouse NPC kicks off on Friday, September 17, at 7.05pm, where Waikato plays Canterbury at FMG Stadium Waikato.
Back-to-back matches on Saturday afternoon see Taranaki play Wellington at 2.05pm at TET Stadium Inglewood, and Northland play Tasman at Semenoff Stadium Whangarei at 4.05pm.
The weekend is rounded off on Sunday with Hawke's Bay defending the Ranfurly Shield against Bay of Plenty from 2.05pm at McLean Park in Napier.