Hey fam! Final round of play before the playoffs next week and what a round it was.
Hawkes Bay Tui v Manawatu Cyclones
Tremain Field, Napier
The Tui came into this game with fire and were not going to roll over easily for the Cyclones on home turf. Played well all over the field Manawatu were able to get the win out of it but not easily. The Cyclones can now rest assure that they have the play off spot against either Auckland Storm, Waikato or Counites Manukau.
Hawkes Bay Tui 12
Manawatu Cyclones 29
Canterbury v Tasman Mako
Rugby Park, Christchurch
This game was a wash for Canterbury as they ran in ??? tries against the Tasman Mako. The final score saw the Red and Blacks take it 84 – 0.
Tasman Mako 0
Taranaki Whio v Counties Manukau Heat
TET Stadium & Events Centre, Inglewood
This game was also a wash for Counties Manukau as they needed as many points as possible to be the best position to take the second playoff spot from either Auckland or Waikato.
Taranaki Whio 0
Counties Manukau 109 (that is the correct score)
Bay of Plenty Volcanix v Northland Kauri
Black Park, Mt Maunganui
This game was meant to be a shoe in for the Volcanix if you had a look at the teams at the beginning of the season. Since then Northland have made strides in their development and have come away with the upset of the round beating out the Volcanix with an all round display and currently sit third on the Northern League Table. If the Kauri had have scored more points than Counties this round they would have gone to second place on the table.
Bay of Plenty Volcanix 0
Northland Kauri 32
Wellington Pride v Otago Spirit
Porirua Park, Porirua
Both teams come into this game playing for their Pride and Spirit (see what I did there!). Probably the most evenly matched teams of the tournament they played their hearts out.
Wellington managed to just sneak home with the win.
Wellington Pride 27
Otago Spirit 24
Auckland Storm v Waikato
Eden Park, Auckland
Top of the table clash and whoever wins has home advantage for the semifinals next week. It was the game of the round with Waikato guaranteed a semi final spot but against who was to be determined.
The game started with both teams having handling errors due to nerves but then settled in with a dominating performance from World Sevens Player of the Year Stacey Fluhler for Waikato. Auckland looked to camp out in the Waikato half but didn’t close out for a try (or 3).
Waikato looked like the stronger team on the day and played well all over the park.
Auckland only needed one point from this game to secure a semi final spot but Waikato had different ideas.
Waikato took the game convincingly and denied Auckland the second semi final spot.
**Update: Auckland have advanced to the semifinals due to a technicality**
Auckland Storm 10