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The Air NZ Cup NPC Week Nine

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Contributor:
Scott Newman
Scott Newman

So who in the NZRFU are the lucky guys to decide which four teams are relegated to the new first division next year? The Air NZ Cup competition has been a wide open contest with plenty of upsets and a ton riding on each game. Do you think the competition is fine like it is or are we going backwards back to 10 teams with a promotion relegation with the next division?

Wellington vs. Southland – Wellington won 32 - 13

The Wellington Lions were under no illusions of the importance of this home game. They took it away from the Stags at the beginning. The attitude was to score points fast! This was one of the Lions best outings this season as Southland is a team who generally defends well. Wellington plays the tricky bucket heads next. The Stags face the daunting task of an All Blacks laden Auckland side in the Garden of Eden.
 
Player of the game – Daniel Kirkpatrick (Wellington) got on top of Southland and never let up.
 
 

North Harbour vs. Counties Manukau – North Harbour won 28 - 19

 
Harbour chose to win the hard way playing with 14 men most of the game due to a red card for a dangerous tackle early on against Andrew Mailei. It was a sloppy game for both sides as the season has shown for each side to be improving yet not finishing well overall. A tough win for Harbour on a rainy night. Harbour now takes the trip down to Hamilton against the slow burning Waikato side. Counties Manukau welcome Canterbury to South Auckland.
 
Player of the game – Rudi Wulf (North Harbour) is looking for an end of year tour spot in the wings.
 
 

Taranaki vs. Waikato – Waikato won 15 - 14

 
The ‘naki will be brewing over this close loss as it was theirs for the taking. Waikato did not score a try but won the game outright in the second half by a point on the dreaded late drop goal from territory advantage. Both teams have been hit and miss this season but could be tightening up now. Taranaki plays a dangerous Otago side. The Mooloo will hope to continue recent form against Harbour.
 
Player of the game – Callum Bruce (Waikato) kicked the Mooloo out of trouble in a one point heartbreaker.
 
 

Canterbury vs. Northland – Canterbury won the Ranfurly Shield 31 - 21

 
Northland chucked everything including the kitchen sink into this shield match and more. They were in the match for over an hour surprising and thrilling the audience. Canterbury is all class under pressure as they managed to find gaps to spread it wide & win this close game. Northland can be real proud of their effort as well. An enjoyable game. Canterbury aim to blitz the Steelers up north. The Taniwha get to play the slippery Makos at home.
 
Player of the game – Sean Maitland (Canterbury) was a menace in stealing back the shield from the Taniwha.
 
 

Hawke’s Bay vs. Manawatu – Hawke’s Bay won 35 - 30

 
This game was arguably the game of the round as you didn’t know who was going to pull through triumphantly in this one. The Magpies are hitting their stride in the competition now and making sure that they score tries to win their games. Manawatu is throwing all caution to the wind in playing a good attacking style with unorthodox approach in some finishing. I feel they are the surprise of the form of the lower teams. The Magpies play the steamers in another form team battle. The Turbos can give the lions hell at the cake tin.
 
Player of the game – Zac Guildford (Hawke’s Bay) got a hat-trick & is looking likely to score more tries each week.
 
 

Otago vs. Bay of Plenty – Otago won 26 - 17

 
The scarfies will be particularly pleased with upsetting one of the competitions form teams. Otago are still a team that deserves respect as they have a good balance within their group. The Bay has to turn it up a notch as they have started very well and need to regroup quickly. The risk of losing a home semi-final can be fatal in their position on the standings. Then again it is wide open. They have been a consistent performer however unlike Otago. The Southern men face the tough task of the ‘naki. The Steamers want to come right against another good team in the Magpies. Should be a good game.
 
Player of the game – Ben Smith (Otago) scored a brace in the upset win against the slipping Bay.
 
 

Tasman vs. Auckland – Tasman won 12 – 08

 
Not a thriller by any means but I am sure the Makos will take it. Auckland seems to have no tricks up their sleeve in building on points at present. The All Blacks really make a BIG difference to their point’s generator. Tasman continues to build in their fine game of spreading the ball playing constructive and attractive rugby to earn a 5th spot in the standings. The Makos play Northland away. The A team will try to get the job done against the stubborn Stags.
 
Player of the game – Andrew Goodman (Tasman) led Tasman to a well earned victory at Trafalgar Park in Nelson.
 
 

2009 Air New Zealand Cup Standings

 

 Team

 

Played

 

Win

 

Draw

 

Loss

 

For

 

Against

 

BP1

 

BP2

 

Points 

 

 Canterbury

 

9

 

7

 

0

 

2

 

261

 

159

 

3

 

2

 

33

 

 Southland

 

9

 

6

 

1

 

2

 

168

 

146

 

1

 

1

 

28

 

 Hawke's Bay

 

9

 

5

 

1

 

3

 

244

 

189

 

4

 

0

 

26

 

 Bay of Plenty

 

9

 

6

 

0

 

3

 

190

 

160

 

0

 

1

 

25

 

 Tasman

 

9

 

5

 

0

 

4

 

208

 

160

 

2

 

2

 

24

 

 Wellington

 

9

 

5

 

0

 

4

 

219

 

188

 

2

 

2

 

24

 

 Auckland

 

9

 

4

 

0

 

5

 

172

 

178

 

2

 

4

 

22

 

 Waikato

 

9

 

5

 

0

 

4

 

172

 

201

 

1

 

0

 

21

 

 Taranaki

 

9

 

4

 

1

 

4

 

171

 

178

 

0

 

1

 

19

 

 Otago

 

9

 

3

 

0

 

6

 

178

 

191

 

2

 

4

 

18

 

 Manawatu

 

9

 

3

 

0

 

6

 

195

 

225

 

1

 

4

 

17

 

 North Harbour

 

9

 

3

 

0

 

6

 

165

 

201

 

0

 

4

 

16

 

 Northland

 

9

 

3

 

1

 

5

 

171

 

220

 

0

 

1

 

15

 

 Counties Manukau

 

9

 

2

 

0

 

7

 

177

 

295

 

2

 

1

 

11

 
 

This Week:

 
 

Thursday 1st Oct, 7:35pm – Waikato vs. North Harbour

 

Friday 2nd Oct, 7:35pm – Counties Manukau vs. Canterbury

 

Friday 2nd Oct, 7:35pm – Bay of Plenty vs. Hawke’s Bay

 

Saturday 3rd Oct, 2:35pm – Auckland vs. Southland

 

Saturday 3rd Oct, 5:30pm – Wellington vs. Manawatu

 

Saturday 3rd Oct, 7:35pm – Taranaki vs. Otago

 

Sunday 4th Oct, 2:35pm – Northland vs. Tasman

 

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