Week 4 has been and gone and um yeah, is all I’ll say for now.
Wellington Pride vs Manawatu Cyclones
Sky Stadium, Live Sky Sport
This game was arguably the game of the round. Both teams needing this win to secure a spot for the semifinals. Both came into it with great forward packs and decided to spread it wide out the back as well. Unfortunately for Wellington, this was not their night. The Cyclones were too good in the end thanks to star play maker Selica Winiata. Manawatu walked away with the win and the bonus point but it wasn’t enough. The Pride also finished with 4 tries and lost by less than 7 which means they picked up 2 bonus points.
This puts Manawatu at the hands of fate. They need to win their remaining games against Otago and Hawkes Bay and also need Wellington to lose a match as the Pride are currently second on the table based on points.
Wellington Pride. 28
Manawatu Cyclones 31
Tasman Mako v Otago Spirit
Trafalgar Park, Nelson
Not televised or livestreamed.
This game looked like a whitewash for Otago as they went in for ??? tries. Otago secured their second win of the season and now sit in fourth place with still a chance for a play off spot.
Tasman Mako 24
Otago Spirit. 67
North Harbour Hibiscus v Auckland Storm
North Harbour Stadium, Albany
This game was meant to be played at Kumeu Rugby Clubs but due to Auckland still being in Love 2 lockdown was moved to North Harbour Stadium for controlled entry.
Auckland ran away with this game will look to next weekends match against the Bay of Plenty Volcanix as the challenge of the season. You can check out the photos on the Facebook page under albums.
North Harbour Hibiscus. 0
Auckland Storm 72
Thanks to Dennis Mansfield for the photos
Bay of Plenty Volcanix v Taranaki Whio
Blake Park, Mt Maunganui
Bay of Plenty where too good for the fresh new Taranaki Whio and ran away with this game 73 – 17.
I think the younger teams (Taranaki and Northland) will need to bring their fitness up to compete well against some of the bigger name teams (Canterbury I’m looking at you).
Bay of Plenty Volcanix. 73
Taranaki Whio 17
Hawkes Bay Tuis v Canterbury
McLean Park, Napier
This game was very entertaining with what we all like to call champagne rugby. Canterbury ran out an unstoppable lead at halftime and didn’t take their foot of the gas until the final whistle.
This game had the hallmarks of being competitive but Canterbury were in a class of their own.
Hawkes Bay Tui. 15
Counties Manukau Heat v Northland Kauri
Navigation Homes Stadium, Pukekohe
Well, what can I say! Northland Kauri have pulled off the upset of the season by beating the Heat 32 – 20. The second half alone saw the Kauri stack on 22 unanswered points with star back Portia Woodman helping out in the try department. This game was meant to be a walk in the park for Counties but no-one told the Kauri. They played their hearts and bodies out of this game and came away with the spoils.
This puts Counties in 3rd place in the Northern League and they will need to win all their upcoming games to to qualify for playoffs.
**Link to full game forthcoming**.
Counties Manukau Heat. 20
Northland Kauri 32
That’s it from me for round 4.
I hope everyone can go and have a read of the rant I had about NZR and Sky Sport not playing the women’s game.
Please, if you can, contact your local union and tell them you want to see more women’s rugby at the grounds and on tv.
Thanks for reading this far, you’re awesome and have a great week.
Special thanks to Paul over at New Zealand Sport Radio for all the interviews with the players you see on the Facebook page. He’s a legend! Go give him a follow on his sports page NZ Sport Radio
Also, my interview with Alice Soper, Wellington forward and social media influencer will be up on the website and also the Facebook page tomorrow. Woo!