14 Sep 2009

Air New Zealand Cup rugby wrap up

7:30 am on 14 September 2009

The Air New Zealand Cup once again saw a mixed bag of upsets, close wins and trouncing's over the weekend as teams shuffle for position on the points ladder.

The round began with two upsets, Taranaki outgunning Wellington 29-16 in New Plymouth, and Counties Manukau giving Northland a lesson in attacking rugby winning 37-21 in Whangarei.

Taranaki's win was the first time they've beaten the city slickers in 20 years and moves the amber and blacks to sixth on the table.

Counties victory lifted the South Aucklanders off the bottom of the points table, leaving North Harbour languishing in last place as they suffered another loss, this time going down to Hawkes Bay 34-17 in Albany.

Tasman furthered their playoff chances with a comfortable if not surprising 23-9 win over Waikato in Blenheim, moving the Makos into fourth spot on the ladder.

In Saturday's other game Canterbury were far too strong for a gun shy Otago side, the red and blacks holding onto the Ranfurly Shield and reclaiming top spot on the table with the 36-16 victory.

And the final clash of the weekend saw Auckland beat Manawatu 23-20 in an encounter which saw the lead change hands several times. The win continues Aucklands slow climb up the points ladder with the traditional powerhouse moving into fifth spot just ahead of Wellington.