Round Six was an eventful weekend with teams looking to secure semi final spots and making sure they don’t get relegated next season.
The first three games were played on Saturday afternoon and they were amazing.
The first game of the round saw the top of the table clash in the Championship with Otago Spirit hosting the Bay of Plenty Volcanix for a spot in final. The Volcanix managed to hold off a Spirited onslaught and take the win 27-17 while also marching straight to the Championship final in two weeks. Here’s the full march report.
The third game of the round had the Manawatu Cyclones face on oncoming Storm in Auckland. Both teams refused to back down and the final scored showed this with a 15 all draw. Thanks to the Manawatu Standard here is their match report for the game.
Over to Sundays matches and the fourth game of the round had the Tasman Makos host the North Harbour Hibiscus at Trafalgar Park in what could only be called swimming conditions. The ground was water logged but both teams decided to keep the ball in hand and were playing an expansive game. Tasman looked for all the money to be going for their first win of the season but North Harbour had other ideas. With North Harbour scoring four tries to pick up a bonus point, they have kept themselves in contention for the playoffs. North Harbour won 25-12 with four tries to two and some very good long range runs as well. Tasman can come away from this game knowing they have it in them to win a game. That game may come next week when they meet bottom of the table Hawkes Bay Tuis to see who can win their first match of the season.
The final game of the weekend saw Waikato host Canterbury in a do or die game for the home team. After Waikato’s stirring haka before the game, Canterbury fired on all cylinders and had Waikato on the back foot for much of the game. With five tries to two Canterbury took the game 31-20 with some amazing breaks from speedy centre Corrina Whiley. This puts Canterbury second on the Premiership table with 24 points in total.
In the Premiership, Counties and Canterbury have guaranteed themselves a home semi final with a game to spare and even if they do lose next weeks games it doesn’t change their standings (due to points differential). The other teams are still battling it out for the other two spots and it will come down to the wire on who wins next week and by how many points. Auckland need a big win next week against Waikato next week as they have the least Points For. If Manawatu and Wellington manage to win their games next week they would leap frog Auckland and get the other two semi final spots, which would make it the first time since the inception of the Womens Provincial Championship back in 1999 that Auckland have not made the semi finals. But we will cross that bridge when and if it turns up.
Over in the Championship, the Bay of Plenty Volcanix have played their final game of the round robin as next week sees them get the bye. They are sitting at the top of the table 23 points and will host either the Otago Spirit or North Harbour Hibiscus in the Championship Final at home. The Spirit and the Hibiscus are still yet to play each other and will do so next weekend with the winner getting a home semi final against the other to determine who plays the Volcanix. The Tasman Makos and the Hawkes Bay Tuis also have yet to play each other and will do that next weekend as well.
Next week sees the end of round robin play and will also sought out the semi finals teams as well.