Mitre 10 Cup Review: Week Four

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Sunday, September 10, 2017    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

North Harbour, promoted to the Premiership after their play-offs victories over Wellington and Otago last year, added another scalp to their already impressive list when beating Counties Manukau 27-18 in the latest round and are in second place behind Canterbury, two bonus points adrift.


Northland sit in second place in the Championship, one game in arrears and six points behind leaders Wellington, but knowing they have the ability to take it to the best sides after dishing out a 37-7 thrashing for Premiership side Waikato in Whangarei on Saturday.

However, it is Canterbury who continue to set the pace by demonstrating the marked division in standards in the competition by taking a 78-20 win over a Southland side still without a point of any kind after four games.

Canterbury's dominance in the competition continues as it contributes more young players to the game with their latest, New Zealand Under-20 back Braydon Ennor scoring four tries in Friday's win.

Taranaki are still there and abouts and were too good for an Auckland team which came undone at a vital stage of their Saturday game on Eden Park. Taranaki won 49-38 and are in third place in the Premiership. 

Tasman recovered some ground in the Premiership when beating Wellington 37-35 in a thriller in Blenheim on Sunday afternoon.

Bay of Plenty seized the initiative in the middle ranks of the Championship by beating Manawatu 20-17 in Palmerstone North to claim fourth place.

Fletcher Smith's 34-point haul is the best individual haul in a game this season and lifted him to a share of highest points scorer on 56 points with Wellington's Jackson Garden-Bachop.

Others on the list are: Bryn Gatland (North Harbour) 51, Richie Mo'unga (Canterbury) 43, Otere Black (Manawatu) 43, Brent Cameron (Canterbury) 33 and Mike Delany (Bay of Plenty) 32.

Ennor's bag lifted him to a share of most tries for the season with six, where he joined Waikato's Jordan Manihera. Sitting on four tries each are Jona Nareke (Otago), George Bridge (Canterbury), Shaun Stevenson (North Harbour) and Joni Macilai (Northland).