25 Oct 2009

Waikato need big win to earn right to challenge Canterbury

1:47 pm on 25 October 2009

The defending champions Canterbury will host Hawke's Bay in Christchurch next week while Wellington host Southland following Saturday night's penultimate round robin game, which saw Auckland end Waikato's hopes of a semi-final place in the provincial rugby competition.

Auckland beat the hosts 26-18 in Hamilton after leading 13-11 at half-time.

Waikato were the only team left that could've taken fourth place off Hawke's Bay with a four-try bonus point victory.

Second-placed Wellington have secured the other home semi after scraping past Tasman 22-14 in Blenheim, the win meaning the Lions will host the other semi-final against third-placed Southland.

In the afternoon game Manawatu have thrashed North Harbour 42-16 at Palmerston North.