8 Sep 2012

Women's NPC underway

5:51 pm on 8 September 2012

The national women's provincial rugby championship is underway with Canterbury beaten 10-7 at home by the 11-time champions Auckland.

The Waikato women also scored a 34-24 away win over Hawke's Bay in Napier.

Otago upset Wellington 8-7 in Porirua.

Manawatu have the bye this weekend.

For the first time in the competition's 12-year history, an all-women referee team controlled all matches.

Played over eight weeks, the women's championship has increased to seven teams this year, with Waikato taking part for the first time since 2005. The format is a straight round robin with a final between the two provincial unions with the highest number of competition points.

The final will be played on October the 27th as a curtain-raiser to the ITM Cup Premiership final.