Mitre 10 Cup Review: Week Seven

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Sunday, October 1, 2017    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

They now share 17 points, three more than last-placed Waikato who went down to competition leader Canterbury 37-17 in Saturday's Ranfurly Shield challenge in Christchurch.


Auckland showed some overdue form in securing a four-try bonus point 38-19 win over Bay of Plenty at Eden Park on Saturday while Counties Manukau got up to beat Northland 25-16 at Pukekohe on Sunday afternoon.

It doesn't get any easier for Waikato either as they play North Harbour in the last game of week eight in Hamilton. North Harbour, who beat Hawke's Bay 33-30, also have to face a trip to Palmerston North to play Manawatu on Wednesday. North Harbour are sitting in third place on the ladder with 27 points.

Ahead of them are Canterbury on 35 and Taranaki on 31, the sides to meet in the Ranfurly Shield challenge of the season in Christchurch on Friday evening.

Taranaki warmed up with a 40-26 win over Tasman on Thursday.

In the Championship, Wellington is well out in front on 37 points after their 27-24 win over Otago in Wellington on Sunday. Otago, by virtue of their points differential, hold second place back on 21 points and would be a worthy finalist on the basis of their effort against Wellington. 

Manawatu, who beat Southland 25-20 on Saturday, share 21 points and have a game in hand. Northland are in fourth place in spite of their loss to Counties Manukau while Bay of Plenty are two points further back. Manawatu have still to play Counties Manukau, Taranaki and Hawke's Bay. Otago have Southland and Bay of Plenty to play while the Bay side's last game is against Waikato.

Two games in the round allowed Otago fullback in Wellington, Fletcher Smith, to boost his scoring to 111 points. Canterbury's Richie Mo'unga is the only other player to have three figures with 108. Next highest is North Harbour's Bryn Gatland on 91 with Jackson Garden-Bachop from Wellington on 85.

Canterbury's three-quarter Braydon Ennor leads the try scoring list with eight tries while Otago's Jona Nareki has seven. Those with six tries are: Jordan Manihera (Waikato), Ben Lam (Wellington), Vince Aso (Auckland), Tevita Li and Shaun Stevenson (North Harbour), Tim Bateman, Josh McKay and Mitch Drummond (Canterbury).