Cyclones take centre stage
The Manawatu Cyclones will take centre stage in the 2019 Farah Palmer Cup with two home double headers including a rare night match and four televised matches.
The Fusi Feaunati-coached side, who were semi-finalists of the premiership division in 2018, will kick off at 7.05pm against Wellington on October 12, running onto Central Energy Trust Arena shortly after the Turbos finish their match against Counties Manukau at 5.05pm.
The other home double header sees the Cyclones take on Auckland, who they beat for the first time last year, kicking off at 2.35pm on Sunday September 29 before the Turbos play North Harbour at 4.35pm.
The Manawatu Rugby Union have changed the kick off times between double header matches so to make the games 30 minutes closer together so there is less down time for the fans between games.
The Cyclones also have two away double headers - against Counties Manukau on Friday September 6 and Bay of Plenty on Saturday October 5 – meaning that four of their six matches will be televised on Sky TV.
Their other matches are against Waikato at Central Energy Trust Arena on September 14 at 1pm and away to Canterbury at Rugby Park at 1pm on September 21.
Manawatu Rugby Union chief executive Shannon Paku was excited with the way the draw shaped out.
“We were really keen to try something different with our double headers in 2019 so when the chance to play a Cyclones game after the Turbos rather than before, we were keen to make it happen.”
Cyclones coach Fusi Feaunati said it was great to have so many of the team’s games televised on Sky TV.
“There are a great number of opportunities for the exposure of the team and our players on the national stage,” he said. “We are very happy with the opportunity to showcase our local talent.”
Feaunati was positive about the team’s chances in the Farah Palmer Cup.
“I definitely feel like we are in a position to progress forward from what we achieved last season, especially with a large percentage of the group returning and the injection of some identified talent that has come through the Plumbing World Cup Women’s Model.”
Friday, September 6, 5.15pm, Counties Manukau v Cyclones, Navigation Homes Stadium Pukekohe*
Saturday, September 14, 1pm, Cyclones v Waikato, Central Energy Trust Arena
Saturday, September 21, 1pm, Canterbury v Cyclones, Rugby Park
Sunday, September 29, 2.35pm, Cyclones v Auckland, Central Energy Trust Arena*
Saturday, October 5, 12.35pm, Bay of Plenty v Cyclones, Tauranga Domain*
Saturday, October 12, 7.05pm, Cyclones v Wellington, Central Energy Trust Arena*
October 19 – Semifinals
October 26 – Final
*denotes televised match