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The Air NZ Cup NPC Week Ten

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Contributor:
Scott Newman
Scott Newman

Nine NPC teams can mathematically still make the top 4 making this one of the closest Provincial Championships in years in order of making the playoffs. Canterbury is in control by being able to have the best bench players in the country on hand in the shield match against Manawatu, who have been playing good Rugby this year.  There will be some big matches with the best looking like Southland vs. Tasman. Here is a look at what has been happening last week in the Air NZ Cup NPC Championship 2009.

 

Waikato vs. North Harbour – Waikato won 33 - 22

With Stephen Donald, Aled de Malmanche & Brendan Leonard back from All Blacks duties Waikato had more than enough firepower to outscore Harbour. As it turned out in the end it was a closer game than expected but the experience of the All Blacks players and an in form Callum Bruce taking the game away from the visitors. A good game as both teams has been a mystery in the try scoring department relying on good boots. Waikato wants to press on for a semi final spot now as they are in the hunt. The Mooloo play Otago away. Harbour is at home against the dangerous Bay of Plenty.
 
Player of the game – Liam Messam (Waikato) making better steps at becoming the great support player possibility for the All Blacks end of year tour.
 
 

Counties Manukau vs. Canterbury – Canterbury won 28 - 17

 
Canterbury was not always in control of this game against Counties who tend to be difficult at their home. But the guile and vision of the quick plays of the ball paid of very well in this win for the red and blacks. Canterbury has a good seven point buffer in the competition with the All Blacks on hand for this week’s game. The game showcased running rugby. Canterbury is set to defend the shield against Manawatu. The Steelers have to attack hard to steal a win from Hawke’s Bay.
 
Player of the game – Sean Maitland (Canterbury) has found his way to the try line more often this year.
 
 

Bay of Plenty vs. Hawke’s Bay – Hawke’s Bay won 22 - 19

 
The battle between the two Bays was always going to be close by the way these teams have been playing. Hawke’s Bay did enough to win with a Zac Guildford Try. The Steamers had home advantage in Rotorua. Mike Delany had another strong game scoring all of the points for the Bay of Plenty team. These teams are right in the mix looking for a home berth in the playoffs. The Steamers play North Harbour away in a must win game. The Magpies will be flying high over Counties if they are not careful.
 
Player of the game – Mike Delany (Bay of Plenty) may have lost this one but leads all point scorers with superb form.
 
 

Auckland vs. Southland – Auckland won 27 - 13

 
Auckland really needed to start to play very aggressively in order to beat the Stags at Eden Park. Southland has been paying good rugby a tough team to beat away. The All Blacks helped to keep the Stags under control as Auckland have needed to have stability in their team to help them progress in the competition. They were spectacular in Defense against Southland which won them the match. Auckland is to play a difficult Taranaki side. The Stags are in the game of the round matchup with the tricky Makos.
 
Player of the game – Jerome Kaino (Auckland) played a meaningful game for the people affected by the Samoa Tsunami.
 
 

Wellington vs. Manawatu – Wellington won 43 - 15

 
The Lions were not going to make any mistakes in thinking how dangerous Manawatu has been attacking in recent games by flattening the Turbos at the Cake Tin. The score line was well blown out by the 7 try effort! The Turbos managed 2 tries in the end in a very one sided affair. The Lions need to bring that game to the forefront in the next few weeks to have a top 4 playoff berth. Wellington will throw all caution to the wind against Northland in David Howell’s 100th game. (for the Taniwha) Manawatu play for the shield against Canterbury in a game where if the stars are aligned then maybe? ...
 
Player of the game – Alby Mathewson (Wellington) made everything look so easy spreading ball out wide in the Lions backs.
 
 

Taranaki vs. Otago – Taranaki won 38 - 10

 
Tony Penn is doing a great job in leading the team for the ‘naki. An inspiring effort from the captain and Willie Ripia helping out greatly marching teams back with his kicking. Taranaki are the last team that have a chance in a playoff spot from deserved efforts. Otago turned up and played hard for the first half only to come away with nothing for the second half being trounced by 28 points by the ‘naki in a bonus point win. Taranaki play Auckland next in a tough one. Otago host the on a roll Mooloo side who have a good record against them.
 
Player of the game – Tony Penn (Taranaki) led Taranaki to an historic victory over Otago. The Captain also scored 2 great tries in the win.
 
 

Northland vs. Tasman – Tasman won 21 – 16

 
The Cambridge Blue were always going to have to play hard to beat the impressive Makos who have been consistent all year. The Taniwha put in a huge effort in keeping the Makos under constant pressure. It was not a given for Tasman until near the last 10 minutes of the match. Tasman will want to press on from such a good season to a playoff berth. (Not bad for a team in financial difficulty threatened to be relegated!) Northland plays a tough Wellington side at home. Tasman will try to penetrate the best defence of the competition at Rugby Park.
 
Player of the game – Andrew Goodman (Tasman) another captain’s good form leads the way past a tough Northland side.
 
 

2009 Air New Zealand Cup Standings

 

 Team

 

Played

 

Win

 

Draw

 

Loss

 

For

 

Against

 

BP1

 

BP2

 

Points 

 

 Canterbury

 

10

 

8

 

0

 

2

 

289

 

176

 

3

 

2

 

37

 

 Hawke's Bay

 

10

 

6

 

1

 

3

 

266

 

208

 

4

 

0

 

30

 

 Wellington

 

10

 

6

 

0

 

4

 

262

 

203

 

3

 

2

 

29

 

 Tasman

 

10

 

6

 

0

 

4

 

229

 

176

 

2

 

2

 

28

 

 Southland

 

10

 

6

 

1

 

3

 

181

 

173

 

1

 

1

 

28

 

 Bay of Plenty

 

10

 

6

 

0

 

4

 

209

 

182

 

0

 

2

 

26

 

 Auckland

 

10

 

5

 

0

 

5

 

199

 

191

 

2

 

4

 

26

 

 Waikato

 

10

 

6

 

0

 

4

 

205

 

223

 

2

 

0

 

26

 

 Taranaki

 

10

 

5

 

1

 

4

 

209

 

188

 

1

 

1

 

24

 

 Otago

 

10

 

3

 

0

 

7

 

188

 

229

 

2

 

4

 

18

 

 Manawatu

 

10

 

3

 

0

 

7

 

210

 

268

 

1

 

4

 

17

 

 North Harbour

 

10

 

3

 

0

 

7

 

187

 

234

 

0

 

4

 

16

 

 Northland

 

10

 

3

 

1

 

6

 

187

 

241

 

0

 

2

 

16

 

 Counties Manukau

 

10

 

2

 

0

 

8

 

194

 

323

 

2

 

1

 

11

 
 
 

This Week: (Please note the home team is listed first)

 
 

Thursday 8th Oct, 7:35pm – Hawke’s Bay vs. Counties Manukau

 

Friday 9th Oct, 7:35pm – Canterbury vs. Manawatu (Ranfurly Shield)

 

Friday 9th Oct, 7:35pm – Taranaki vs. Auckland

 

Saturday 10th Oct, 2:35pm – Otago vs. Waikato

 

Saturday 10th Oct, 5:30pm – Southland vs. Tasman

 

Saturday 10th Oct, 7:35pm – North Harbour vs. Bay of Plenty

Sunday 10th Oct, 2:35pm – Northland vs. Wellington

 

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