Mitre 10 Cup Review: Week Six

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Sunday, September 24, 2017    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

Canterbury are still the front runners in the Premiership but are still not certain round-robin winners, especially with Ranfurly Shield games against Waikato and Taranaki over the next two weekends with their final game away against Auckland.


Wellington, however, are in the comfortable position of being 13 points clear with this weekend's game against second-placed Otago, who face up to Northland in the Wednesday game. Then Wellington have Southland in Invercargill and Northland in Wellington.

But in the Premiership Taranaki, after their 48-17 win over Hawke's Bay are in second place with Tasman on 25 points after a 50-17 win over Southalnd in third and North Harbour on 23 in fourth after losing to Canterbury 28-41 with a game in hand.

They are nine points clear of Waikato who face a battle to reach the play-offs needing to come back from their 10-34 loss to Wellington on Saturday.

The big interest is centred on the relegation zone where Counties Manukau, who drew with Bay of Plenty 31-31 are on 13 points and Auckland, who lost to Otago 26-34 are on 12. Counties Manukau have yet to play Northland, Manawatu and Tasman while Auckland have Bay of Plenty, Tasman and Canterbury.

Things are tight for the remaining three places in the Championship. Otago is on 19 in second, Bay of Plenty have 18 after their draw with Counties Manukau, but have played an extra game, while Northland, who lost to Manawatu 25-39 on Friday, and Manawatu have 16 each.

Otago have still to play Northland, Wellington, Bay of Plenty and Southland. Bay of Plenty also have Auckland and Waikato. Northland have Otago, Counties Manukau, Hawke's Bay and Wellington while Manawatu have Southland, Counties Manukau, Taranaki and Hawke's Bay.

On the individual points scoring list Canterbury's Richie Mo'unga is closest to cracking 100 for the season as he is on 91. Others are: Jackson Garden-Bachop (Wellington) 78, Fletcher Smith (Otago) 77, Bryn Gatland (North Harbour) 75, Mitchell Hunt (Tasman) 57, Marty McKenzie (Taranaki) 53 and Mike Delany (Bay of Plenty 51.

Canterbury's Brayden Ennor heads the try scoring list with seven. Others are: Tim Bateman, Mitch Drummond (both Canterbury), Tevita Li (North Harbour), Jona Nareki (Otago), Jordan Manihera (Waikato) six; Vince Aso (Auckland), George Bridge, Josh McKay (both Canterbury), Shaun Stevenson (North Harbour), Malo Tuitama (Wellington) five.