7 Sep 2015

Hawkes Bay defend Ranfurly Shield

8:47 am on 7 September 2015

Hawkes Bay successfully defended provincial rugby's Ranfurly Shield, dispatching North Harbour's challenge 48-32 in Napier.

Israel Dagg in action for Hawke's Bay

Israel Dagg in action for Hawke's Bay Photo: Photosport

It's Hawkes Bay's fourth straight bonus point win keeps them at the top of the Championship standings ahead of Wellington, who thrashed Southland 53-3 in Invercargill yesterday evening to stay in touch with the Magpies.

Also yesterday Auckland came from behind to thrash Waikato 50-28 in Hamilton and climb above the hosts up to third on the Premiership table.

Waikato led 21-17 at half-time but only scored one more try, while the Aucklanders poured on 33 points with four more tries.

In all, Auckland scored seven tries to Waikato's four - so the hosts still earned the four-try bonus point.

World Cup-bound All Black prop Charlie Faumuina played again for Auckland before being substituted in the second half.

Meanwhile, 2011 World Cup winner Stephen Donald is still waiting for his second stint with Waikato to officially start - the first five was a late scratching on Saturday with his hamstring injury.